Black Mama's Bail Out frees women from jail in time for Mother's Day

Southerners on New Ground (SONG) held its Black Mama's Bail Out Action event throughout the week in seven cities, including, Atlanta; Durham; New Orleans; Richmond, Virginia; Charlottesville, Virginia; and Nashville Tennessee. The event in Asheville was held Friday. (Photo credit: WLOS staff)

ASHEVILLE, N.C. (WLOS) - An advocacy group started a national campaign to get black mothers out of jail just in time for Mother’s Day.

Southerners on New Ground (SONG) held its Black Mama's Bail Out Action event throughout the week in seven cities: Atlanta; Durham; New Orleans; Richmond, Virginia; Charlottesville, Virginia; and Nashville, Tennessee. The event in Asheville was held Friday.

One of the mothers bailed out in Asheville said she was thankful, but pretty skeptical at first.

"When you're in jail, you just don't expect something like this to happen every day," said Tami Caldwell, who said she was in jail for 12 days.

"It’s part of a deeper history of black liberation and freeing our people," SONG member Lexus Walker said.

Walker said the campaign is a stepping stone to the bigger goal of getting rid of the cash money bail system.

“Ending the cash money bail will take away the incentive of putting people in cages just on their wealth and ability to pay bail," Walker said.

According to Walker, the group pays the bail of African-Americans because they believe they are at a systemic disadvantage.

"We know that the money bail system preys on black women and people of color, just like the criminal justice system as a whole does” Walker said.

Walker said they chose to pay the bail for mothers because of the importance of their roles in society.

"Black moms and black caregivers are the centerpieces of black communities,” Walker said. “They’re the folks who hold our communities together, our families together.”

Walker said when looking for candidates to bail out, they don't look at the crimes committed. They just look to see if the inmate is a black mother/caregiver and if the group can afford the bail.

Walker said it’s worth paying a portion of these mothers' bonds, especially during a holiday celebrating an even bigger bond.

"We really wanted to do this around a day that is already centered around family,” said Walker. “It really helps people connect with the heart."

"It means everything to me,” said Caldwell. “I feel great."

The group in Asheville was able to bail out three mothers on Friday.

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