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Strange Fruit - MUSC Statement on Alleged Hangings by Suicide in May and June

Strange Fruit

Over the past month, we have been horrified and heartbroken by a string of hangings of Black boys and men, all deemed to be suicides. Given the racially charged atmosphere and prevalence of hatred in many cities across America, Moms of Black Boys United for Social Change demands further investigation into these mysterious deaths all carried out in public spaces. Although we acknowledge the recent rise in suicide rates by young Black boys and men, we are skeptical that they would choose to hang themselves in a public square. We want thorough investigations in these cases and honor the lives and memory of these souls lost too soon.

May 31, 2020: Malcolm Marsch, 38 - found hanging from a tree outside the public library in Victorville, CA. Police say he was hung with a USB cord. His family says Malcolm was 6’ 3”, and his body was not even dangling from the tree when he was found dead.

June 9, 2020: Dominique Alexander, 27 - found hanging in a tree in Ft. Tryon Park in New York, NY. A passerby discovered the body near The Cloisters at 6am. Police deemed the death a suicide.

June 10, 2020: Robert Fuller, 24 - found hanging from a tree in Palmdale, CA town square across from City Hall and the fire station. No chair or stool was found nearby. The city has a troubled racial history. Neo-Nazis and skinheads have lurked in the area for decades. Just last year, four former Summerwind Elementary School first-grade teachers in Palmdale posed for a picture with a noose taken by their former Principal Linda Brandts, who subsequently emailed the photo to the entire Summerwind staff. They called it an “end of year joke” and claimed not to know the racial history of a noose.

June 16, 2020: Unnamed Black male teen - found hung to death in the parking lot at an elementary school in Spring, TX (near Houston) on June 16, 2020. This followed the discovery of a Hispanic man found hanging from a tree in Houston one day earlier; police said his family said he was suicidal. Both deaths were assumed to be suicides.

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