Women’s History Month Includes Black Women’s History
Could you close your eyes? Trust us on this? Close your eyes and think about all of the women you are familiar with and the women you have in the past seen featured during Women's History Month. Go ahead. Take 60 seconds to reflect on this.
Who are the women that came to mind?
Abigail Adams? Susan B. Anthony? Elizabeth Cady Stanton? Alice Paul? Lucy Burns? Eleanor Roosevelt? Betty Friedan? Gloria Steinem? Hillary Clinton? Michelle Obama? Emma Watson? Nancy Pelosi? Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez? Ruth Bader Ginsburg?
What about Harriet Tubman? Mary Church Terrell? Frances Ellen Watkins Harper? Sojourner Truth? Ida B. Wells-Barnett? Angela Davis? bell hooks? Rosa Parks? Maya Angelou? Coretta Scott King? Alice Walker? Shirley Chisholm? Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie? Roxane Gay? Patrisse Khan-Cullors? Tarana Burke? Laverne Cox? Kamala Harris? Stacey Abrams?
As we close out Black History Month and enter Women's History Month, Elect Black Women PAC celebrates Black women's activism who have moved movements forward, paved the way, and reached a hand back to bring up more Black women leaders.
Last year, women celebrated 100 years since the passage of the 19th Amendment—an amendment that afforded white women the right to vote. An amendment Black women fought for, organized to aid in the passage, and yet were segregated to the back of the marches and found themselves without the strength in numbers of white women found during the Women's Suffrage Movement in the 1950s and 60s in the fight for the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
In other words, allies matter.
Black women are pulled in several directions regarding advocacy— addressing racial discrimination and prejudice and addressing sexism and women's rights.
Intersectionality—the complex, cumulative way in which the effects of multiple forms of discrimination (such as racism, sexism, and classism) combine, overlap, or intersect especially in the experiences of marginalized individuals or groups. (Merriam-Webster)
In other words, as we transition into Women's History Month, let's be intentional and purposeful about celebrating and supporting the work of Black Women. After all, Black women are both Black and women. Black women experience both racism and sexism. Black trans women experience racism, sexism, and transphobia.
Get to know Mary Church Terrell, who was a civil rights activist and suffragist. She was the first Black woman in the United States to be appointed to serve on a school board of a major city; was a charter member of both the National Association of the Advancement of Colored People and the Colored Women's League of Washington, and she also helped found the National Association of Colored Women.
Celebrate the work of bell hooks (Gloria Jean Watkins) is a Black woman author, feminist, professor, and activist whose work focuses on the intersectionality of race, capitalism, and gender.
Read the short stories and novels from Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, a Nigerian author living in the United States whose work focuses on the intersection of race and gender. She is a recipient of the MacArthur Genius Grant.
Celebrating Black history, celebrating Black women, didn't end on February 28th. And it won't end on March 31st. But as we celebrate Women's History Month for the next 31 days, let's make sure we don't further erase Black women's contributions. To truly honor Women's History Month, join Elect Black Women PAC as we amplify Black women leaders yesterday, today, and tomorrow and connect Black women leaders both locally and nationally.