“I am a Black Feminist. I mean I recognize that my power as well as my primary oppressions come as a result of my blackness as well as my womaness, and therefore my struggles on both of these fronts are inseparable.”
Today is the Women’s March across the United States, including in Washington, DC. I also noticed that Black Lives Matters DC also hosted a separate march in DC. I asked a question to the black man live-streaming the BLM protest at Union Station why they were having a separate march, and he started his response to me with, “To the person…” No, sir, if you cannot pronounce my name, please refer to me as the woman or the lady. I fight every day for civil rights so don’t discount me or my needs. It goes beyond just being a black “person.”
Another woman, who I assume is a white woman or a passing woman of color, told me the marches are separate issues. These may seem insignificant to you, but this is the crux of the problem for me—a black woman. For me, I shouldn’t have to pick an issue. I have been oppressed and suppressed because I am black, and I am a woman.
Since the civil rights movement and women’s movement crossed paths in the 1950s, it seems like black women had to make a choice. If you didn’t wear your purple, you weren’t fighting for the women. If you didn’t wear your red, green, and black, were you really about that power? More than 60 years later, why must I still have to make a choice? Why can’t we come together—all people of color—and take a stand? Think back to Selma when Dr. King placed a call to all clergy and all races. The media came down in droves. We can do this again.
This goes beyond Black Lives Matter DC or the Women’s March. Now, we must take great organizations like these to create a powerful shift in our nation’s, and our government’s, mindset. Keep protesting, but let’s find a way to work together during the upcoming midterm elections and beyond.