Epilogue: Remembering Sakia, Remembering Ourselves, by Zenzele Isoke

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Photograph of Tatyana Fazlalizadeh’s Sakia, Sakia, Sakia, Sakia mural and the New Jersey Transit tracks. Photo by Mary Rizzo.

The book concludes with an epilogue, “Remembering Sakia, Remembering Ourselves,” by Zenzele Isoke. She speculates about what the life of Sakia Gunn, a fifteen-year-old lesbian who was murdered in Newark in 2003, would have looked like if she had not been killed, and discusses what has changed, and what has not, for Black queer youth in the twenty-one years since Gunn’s death. She also notes that while Gunn’s death did not receive the same national attention as other murders motivated by queerphobia, memorialization and remembrance of Gunn is common in Newark. This theme of remembrance ties back to the book’s introduction, in which Whitney Strub discusses the mural Sakia, Sakia, Sakia, Sakia by artist Tatyana Fazlalizadeh. Strub notes that for viewers who do not know Gunn’s story, the mural becomes a piece of queer history hidden in plain sight—a running theme for many of the stories excavated by Queer Newark: Stories of Resistance, Love, and Community.