Kenyatta “Kesha” Webster, a 24-year-old Black trans woman, was found dead in Jackson, Miss., March 26.
Last Friday, more than 100 people attended the balloon release and vigil honoring Webster in Jackson, local TV station WLBT reports. Family members have said Webster’s death was robbery-homicide, but police have yet to confirm.
During the event, Webster’s mother, Sharon Taylor, begged the community to help find justice for her daughter.
“Everybody share it all on Facebook,” said Taylor. “All over Facebook. Let it go out because I want justice for my baby. Because she was loved. She had plenty of love. She didn’t deserve that. She ain’t no dog, no rag, or dirt. She’s gonna get justice.”
According to Pittsburgh Lesbian Correspondents, Webster worked in retail after graduating from Callaway High School. The website also notes that she traveled a lot throughout the South. She turned 24 last month.
In a news release, Tori Cooper, the Human Rights Campaign’s director of community engagement for the Transgender Justice Initiative, said that Webster's life was cut too short.
“At 24, Kenyatta ‘Kesha’ Webster should have had more time,” Cooper said. “Her mother’s grief that has led to calls for justice must be heard and her miraculous life must be remembered. During her life, she spread messages of hope online and it is my hope that in her memory we can transform hope into action to protect young Black transgender women from senseless violence so they may live long and beautiful lives."
Webster’s death marks at least the ninth violent death of a trans or gender-nonconforming person this year. That number is probably higher. Many trans and gender-nonconforming deaths go unreported or are misreported by media outlets. In the case of Webster, several outlets have misgendered her.
The Jackson police can be reached at (601) 960-1217 for leads in connection to Webster’s death.