Why This Powerful Cartoon Matters For Black Women

June 11th 2015

Nicole Charky

One artist is shifting the narrative for the Black teenager who was wrestled to the ground by a McKinney, Texas police corporal who grabbed her by the braids and drew his gun on friends who came to help her outside the pool party.

Artist Markus Prime's message: Black lives matter, and so do Black women's lives.


Please let @dajerriabecton know she has our support. Leave her an encouraging word below.

A photo posted by @markusprimelives on

In his illustration depicting 15-year-old Dajerria Becton, Prime gives the bikini-clad girl back the power as a strong, young Black woman shutting down her unjust arrest by digging her foot on the back of the cop, who lays flat on the ground in handcuffs. The image inspires a different attitude toward the violent viral video images of Dejerria on the grass, calling for her mom and friends for help. It's what a young Black woman would look like if she were in power.

Dajerria's treatment by now resigned Cpl. Eric Casebolt was called "indefensible," by the McKinney police chief, yet it is the cartoon image shared widely on social media that is igniting a discussion about America's history of racial tensions and police brutality -- a common form of abuse targeting women of color that is often overlooked. The officer's absurd barrel roll -- down to his attack on Dajerria and threat of gun violence against other Black teens at the pool party -- depicts a bigger problem for Black women at the hands of police violence in the U.S. The viral hashtag #SayHerName, for instance, was recently used as a rallying call by activists to highlight police brutality and sexual assault against women of color.

RELATED: The McKinney Cop's Barrel Roll Is Worth Discussing​

As Markus Prime explains to Huffington Post, he felt a rush of anger and frustration after seeing the viral video of Casebolt digging his knee into Dajerria's back, as her small frame lays face-down on the ground.

“It struck a nerve,” Prime told The Huffington Post. “This particular incident spoke to me because these things happen every day but this time it happened to a child.

“Black women are strong and powerful,” he said. “They’re resilient because they deal with everything a black man deals with, plus some. Personally, it's an obligation because of what we're going through as a race, we should put black women at a higher platform.”