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The mysterious death of Kenneka Jenkins and the important conversation we all should be having

Black Twitter erupted this week after news of Kenneka Jenkins’ mysterious death began slowly making the rounds. The 19-year-old had reportedly been found dead in the walk-in freezer of the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Rosemont, Illinois on Sunday. Jenkins’ story — full of murky details, conflicting accounts, a mother desperate for answers, and a growing social media campaign — initially seemed as if it might suffer the same fate that befalls those of other slain young black women and become a cold case. Activists were concerned it would be underreported or ignored entirely.

A viral video originally streamed on Facebook Live by one of Jenkins’ friends ended up inadvertently shedding some light. The video, which has been watched more than 4 million times since Sunday, appeared to some to show Jenkins pleading for help in the background of a hazy hotel room party scene. Amature online detectives fueled theories of what happened in Jenkins’ final hours (at one point, a narrative involving trafficking was even floated), adding to the frenzy. Black media mavens, bloggers, activists, and internet personalities began tweeting about the video, demanding answers. The mass hysteria that swelled in the hours after the video was unearthed then grabbed the attention of some media outlets, including the Chicago Tribune, which began looking into Jenkins’ case as well.

This post is from ThinkProgress. Click here to read the full text

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