Sandra Bland’s church family walks in silent demonstration of faith

Pastor Miller and Congregation - Photo Credit Eddy "Precise" Lamarre for Steed Media
Pastor James Miller – Rev Lana Parks Miller and congregation (Photo credit: Eddy “Precise” Lamarre for Steed Media Serviced)

Recently, Pastor James Miller and the Rev. Lana Parks Miller of DuPage African Episcopal Methodist Church held what he called a demonstration of faith to honor the death of Sandra Bland, who attended the church. Her mother has been a member of the church for the past 18 years. Bland was an active member of the church and on the first Sunday of June made an announcement for the annual Woman’s Day event. Pastor Miller and his congregation circled the campus of the church in silence. The mood was one of frustration, sadness and hope. Pastor Miller said he was thankful to the Lord for entrusting them with Sandra and that they are proud of her.

Photo credit: Eddy “Precise” Lamarre for Steed Media Service

Sandra Bland headed to Texas from Illinois to start a new life as a student ambassador to the alumni association at Prairie View A&M University. She graduated from Prairie View in 2009. Instead of starting a new job, Sandra was found dead in her cell after being arrested for a minor traffic infraction. Video of the arrest shows Bland’s head being slammed to the ground by the Texas state trooper. You can hear her complaining about having her head slammed to the pavement, how she isn’t able to hear and thanking the gentleman who is recording the arrest. There is a cloud of suspicion that surrounds the arrest. Waller county’s official statement says that Bland hung herself. This is something that many find unfathomable because of the reason Bland was in Texas and her personality. Investigations are still underway with respect to her death.

When asked what we can expect to learn from this tragedy Pastor Miller said, “We can learn what is evident. A student in a classroom has a subject that is presented to them repetitiously in many different forms over and over again in a certain period of time, so that at the end of that people have appropriated that information. We have had repetition in so many different ways and the final exam is coming. I think we have been presented the material, and we need to take heed to it, (and so many are) and begin to discuss and address the reality that is before us.”

Rolling out asked for Pastor Miller to expound on the “material” that he was speaking of and he had this to say: “Let me say this, I’m no expert on entitlement and double standard, but I know that when elected officials can defy the Supreme Court the highest court in the land and openly defy it and get re-elected, and people get pulled over for not signaling for traffic and end up dead, something is wrong.”

Sandra Bland’s sorority sister Latonia Jackson  (Photo credit: Eddy “Precise” Lamarre for Steed Media)

Latonia Jackson, a member of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority Inc., spoke with us with regarding her sorority sister and what she would expect as a result of this tragedy. “With respect to the family, I would just like to see justice, my prayers are with the family. We pray that her death was not in vain, and we move forward with the positive energy that she displayed in her life.”

Photo Credit Eddy "Precise" Lamarre for Steed Media
Photo credit: Eddy “Precise” Lamarre for Steed Media Service

Services for Sandra Bland will be held at Dupage AME, a date has not been set because the investigation is ongoing.


Eddy Lamarre aka Precise is a hip-hop artist-writer-actor from Chicago. The Chicago Reader recognized “Ladies Love Mixtapes” his latest release as one of the best projects of 2014. Listen/Buy Ladies Love Mixtapes at:

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