feature: “badass black queer women paved the way for the mizzou movement”

November 11, 2015

“Badass Black Queer Women Paved the Way for the Mizzou Movement’, writes Yvonne S. Marquez in a new article for Autostraddle. For those unaware of this movement: “After months of student protests over racist incidents and a slew of other issues that deeply impact women and minority students, everything came to a head this week at the University of Missouri as student and faculty demonstrators were successful in forcing the president of the university, Tim Wolfe, to resign and the school’s chancellor, R. Bowen Loftin, to step down to take a smaller role.”

Now one of the key activists of the Mizzou Movement, graduate student Jonathan Butler – whose hunger strike (a response to the cuts to graduate student healthcare and the slew of racist, sexist, homophobic incidents at the University) helped push the recent outcome – is bringing attention to the Black Queer Women (members of the the #ConcernedStudent1950) who “paved the way”. As reported in her Autostraddle piece, Marquez writes that Butler gave the women a shoutout on twitter (pictured below) and that he stated the following to The Washington Post: “The Black Lives Matter movement, in terms of what that means and the symbolism of reaffirming black existence, black humanity, and so in that realm with what we’re doing with our education sessions, what we’re doing with our rallies, what we’re doing on campus is definitely bringing about this awareness that we deserve to exist in these spaces on campus and we deserve to have our lives valued. And so in that sense, it’s a part of the Black Lives Matter movement. But in another sense, this is really unique to campus just because of the example that we got from some of those who were organizing in Ferguson. There are three queer black women, who used their knowledge from Ferguson organizing in creating an organization called MU for Mike Brown. And from that, that’s really where a lot of what has been going on on campus has been morphed from. So, it is part of the Black Lives Matter movement, but not necessarily in the cookie cutter way.” 

By Alexander Aplerku, AFROPUNK Contributor