Who was Poe Black? 'Warrior' trans activist, 21, murdered, friends say he's stabbed in genitals
SLAB CITY, CALIFORNIA: A young trans-activist from Slab City, California, was found murdered in the Coachella Canal on May 11. Identified as 21-year-old Poe Black, the transman was found by the Imperial County Sheriff's Office, which ruled the death as a homicide, according to a Facebook post made by the authorities. Details of Black's death remain scarce, reports Pink News, adding that his friends have claimed he was “stabbed seven times, including several times in the genitals, and then his body dumped in a nearby canal” on May 7.
Initially reported by the outlet PGH Lesbian, Black was last seen by aforementioned friends on May 6 "wandering around alone after his partner and other campers relocated."
The next day, a “huge amount of blood” was found at the Coachella canal's nearby hot spring, his friends added, but campers remained uninformed of the incident for the next several days. Two weeks later, local sheriff investigators came to the camp with photographs of Black's body, shortly after which he was identified.
Who was Poe Black?
All across social media, Black was a celebrated 'warrior' who fought for the Two-Spirit Indigenous folks in Slab City, California. Black, who was born in Nashville, Tennessee, lived in a "browbeaten patch of Niland known as Slab City," reports the outlet, explaining it as an "out-of-the-way settlement frequently occupied by people experiencing homelessness and those seeking to simply unplug from the world."
While documents from the Sheriff's Office describe Black as non-binary, across his social media, the activist identified as a trans-masculine and a trans-man. His regular updates on his transition would both inspire and educate those following him, the outlet adds. PGH Lesbian reports that Black was a member of the Wyandotte Nation; they note he was “mixed Indigenous”.
Black has also been described as a spirited artist, dabbling in frantic, abstract artworks that gained popularity for its assorted range from still skulls to blissful beaches and saw steady sales, Pink News reports. The outlet also describes Black as someone to whom making art was almost therapeutic as one of his many paintings that showed sweeping lines and question marks was entitled "This is Hope”. Among the many forms of art that Black would sell on online marketing platforms like RedBubble, were also anti-fascist stickers and 'ACAB' face masks.
Black was also remembered in his death by the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women USA, who touted him for being a passionate activist who sought to uplift those around him, even while battling his lowest of lows. “During his life he had suffered so much for the causes of justice for Native people, for Black people, for LGBT+ people, and anyone who needed to be stood up for,” the group wrote in a Facebook post. “He was truly loved and he truly loved people. He was a warrior.”
Black is believed to be the 28th trans and gender non conforming person killed in the United States just this year, according to the Human Rights Campaign’s tally. PGH Lesbian also wrote of his death, saying, “In May alone, we now know of the deaths of at least nine transgender or gender non-conforming people. This violence is staggering, and if it continues, we will record more cases of fatal violence against trans and gender non-conforming people this year than any prior year."