My heart is filled with insurmountable joy each time I see a new female black face on any screen, in a any book, on a bill board. It just means that that’s one more black female face representative of the myriad of black female experiences across the United States, across the world. Our sisterhood as black American women is undeniably strong and unshakeable, precisely because of the history of racial tensions and the history of sexism in this country of ours, that has ruthlessly cast us at the bottom of the social ladder.
Our experiences unite us because we have always understood that we can’t fight the system on our own, and have thus continued to stand together! It’s comforting to know that we are never alone in the struggle, as we all know too well how the politics of respectability continue to define our lives and our attitudes towards the matters of race. As we continue to mourn for the black souls lost all too soon at the hands of police brutality, we all know too well the effects of American institutionalized racism.
We are bonded, and have been in this struggle together because we all know too well how sexism, both inside and outside of our community, has silenced our voices. We all know too well how at some point or the other we have had to make the impossible decision between what’s more of a “worthy” cause. Ya’ll remember how in 2008 we had to choose whether to support Barack or to support Hillary. Whatever decision we made, was never good enough, as there was always someone glaring at us with crossed eyes. Our decisions and experiences were over simplified. Oh you traitor who doesn’t want to support your black brother! Oh you traitor who doesn’t want to support a woman like you!
We have more than once been called traitors by our own black brothers for demanding that we be treated as equal human beings; for beseeching that within the public space, we be recognized as valuable agents in the fight against racial injustice, and within the private sphere of our homes, we be conferred as equal partners. We have also moreover been forgotten by our white sisters for having experiences that are a little from their own, and for wanting to engage with and fight for gender equality in methods that are cognizant of our history, of our cultural experiences, as women of color in the United States.
Through all this, we have and continue to stand together. We continue to celebrate together, as very very slowly, but surely, the world is changing its attitudes towards women of color. Even though we have seen so much violence against our brothers over the last year, than we have seen in a long time, let’s not be too discouraged. Let’s use that anger as a means of challenging the system to change its methods, it’s approaches, it’s ideologies, once and for all. Let’s seek for deep-rooted transformation through the deconstruction of these historically racist and prejudiced systems and let’s continue to reflect upon and celebrate the small wins that we have been making.
There are black women graduating with bachelors, masters, and doctorate degrees today more than ever before. More and more women of color are asking questions about the structures of inequality within the job market, and we have thus seen a rise in black female-headed companies. There are a lot of our sisters on the entrepreneurial venture today than ever before, and they are successfully leading these companies and growing a legitimate space for black enterprise in the United States.
Even though we still need more women of color represented at the most powerful levels of government, we are making our way there. Just earlier this week, our sister Loretta Lynch became the first black woman U.S. Attorney! That is a victory worthy of celebration! Our sister in the fight for gender equality Hillary Clinton is once again running for president, that is step in the right direction that is worthy of celebration by all of us. We also have more black female faces on prime time television that we have ever seen before.
Our many different faces, voices, and experiences are getting out there and people are finally starting to recognize that even as we stand united, we all carry different experiences and have many different types of stories to share. We are not just one entity of sisters whose experiences are uniform across the board, but are sisters who carry a diverse array of interests and are passionate about different things.
We are sisters who carry different cultural, social and personal experiences, who come from different social economic backgrounds, who some of us are first or second generation Americans, some of us are more politically liberal than others, who some of us work as bankers and painters, and others of us are opera singers, lawyers, actresses, and doctors. Some of us want to be public scholars and future politicians whilst others of us are comfortable in our small towns, raising our families, and making changes right there at the community levels. Needless to say, we all continue to be united because we are committed to pushing to pushing the boundaries of society and challenging the stereotypical perceptions the world has created about who we are. We seek to and are committed to do creating a socially just world, a world which is accepting of difference, one in which we can be truly free to be who we are, and one which is ultimately better for ourselves and our children.
Share, and Unravel Away Artist.