ActivismRaceSex & Gender

absolutely everyone should #marchforblackwomen

October 2, 2018
60 Picks

As Black women, we often find ourselves find ourselves on the margins of the very movements that are bolstered by our advocacy, which is why the #MarchForBlackWomen that took place this past weekend in Washington D.C. and New York City, was an important declaration of our worth in the equality narrative. If you had not heard about the march, it’s because it got little to no mainstream coverage, but that did not and will not hinder organizers Black Women’s Blueprint (BWP). BWP collaborated with organizations like DC Rape Crisis Center, National Economic & Social Rights Initiative, and the Marsha P. Johnson Institute to bring the march together with rallies at National Mall in D.C. and Park Row in Manhattan.

According to the BWP website, the march seeks to address the political climate that has Black women constantly brutalized and silenced about our shared and distinct experiences. “As various communities of Black women, we have always faced innumerable personal and unspeakable brutalities. We cannot allow the travesties that have affirmed disregard for our existence to continue to flourish while we wither away with resentment and stew in our own rage.” The gathering boasted speakers like iconic author/poet Ntozake Shange and AFROPUNK collaborator Michaela Angela Davis, alongside a host of activists and speakers that addressed crowds in D.C. and New York.

The Black Women’s Blueprint site also provides a list of demands such as:

1. Full reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act set to expire on September 30, 2018. The Violence Against Women Act provides the means for funding social service agencies that support victims of sexual assault and domestic violence, such as law enforcement training and the National Domestic Violence Hotline. It was enacted in 1994, following Anita Hill’s testimony in 1991 against Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.

2. Our political hopefuls focus on intersectional women’s rights concerns like poverty, affordable housing, reproductive rights, immigration protections and center the most vulnerable.

3. Remove the gag order on advocacy and prevention-focused agencies forbidding the use of the words: transgender, fetus, vulnerable, science-based, evidence-based, diversity, and entitlement. The Trump administration told analysts at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention to stop the use of the aforementioned words in budget reports.

Dr. Chrstine Blasey Ford’s historic testimony against Supreme Court Justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh was a somber reminder of a lesson America did not learn from Anita’s Hill’s testimony against Clarence Thomas 27 years ago. Kimberle Crenshaw described it best she wrote “We are still ignoring the unique vulnerability of black women,” in her New York Times op-ed. “I watched Anita Hill testify as a member of her support team. I worried that she would be trapped between an anti-racist movement that foregrounded black men and a feminism that could not fully address how race shaped society’s perception of black victims.” As the mind behind the concept of “intersectionality”, Crenshaw had voiced the trials of the Black woman’s identity: constantly trying to not fall through the cracks of intersecting identities.

Even though Black Lives Matter was started by three Black woman activists, the anti-racist movement still centers Black men as Black girls and women are mistreated, abducted and murdered across the country with little coverage. The Women’s March that followed Trump’s inauguration also served as a reminder that “White Feminism” still managed to center itself in a movement that erupted in response to a man that was a danger to all women. The reality is, if Black women don’t do the work to center ourselves where our lives are concerned, we will continue to be activist mules. This is why the #MarchForBlackWomen is a vital movement for the group of voters that showed up for the country when 53% of white women chose their whiteness over their womanhood.

Black women are forever teaching but the world seems to be showing up to class too little too late at every turn. Black women voted for Hillary Clinton even though her track record showed that she was not showing for us unless it was on the campaign track. Black Women showed up at the polls when alleged pedophile Roy Moore was on the ballot. Black women keep showing up for this country and it has yet to return the favor so it’s only natural that we do what we do best and show up for ourselves.

You can help the Black Women’s Blueprint by donating, partnering with them or becoming a sponsor for the organization.

Show up for Black women. It’s the least you can do…

So long as Black women continue to be forcibly taken from their children, our lives are political. So long as we are deported or killed by law enforcement, our lives are political. So long as our daughters continue to be sold or go missing; so long as trans-identified women continue to be murdered and the rest relentlessly raped by friends, family, dates, strangers, prominent persons or nationally renown predators, our lives are and will remain political. – Black Women’s Blueprint