“Trust Black Women”: Images From D.C. March For Black Women
By:     -   October 3, 2017   -   Black Women  -  Culture  -  Lifestyle  -  Speak Up   -   Comments are closed   -   420 Views
Photo: Deyon (NY) and Angela (DE) march for Black women.

The March for Racial Justice (M4RJ) and the March for Black Women (M4BW) both convened independently around downtown Washington, D.C., and ultimately merged, ending along the National Mall. The organized marches, although separate, set out to address both racism and sexism – a pair that go hand-in-hand. The M4RJ was organized by a coalition of activists and organizations in response to the fatal police shooting of Philando Castile, an unarmed Black Minnesota man whose girlfriend live-streamed the entire encounter on Facebook.

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“Contrary to popular belief, Black Lives Matter was created for black women—and for all Black lives. Justice is possible, but it is not inevitable.” – Black Lives Matter Co-Founder, Opal Tometi

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More intentionally and specifically, the March for Black Women (organized by Black Women’s Blueprint, BYP 100, and the Trans Sistas of Color Project) addressed the intersectionality Black women face on a daily basis.

 

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“Let the Black women lead.”

Historically, Black women have been discriminated against in ways that do not fit the mold of the traditional umbrella definitions of “racism” and “sexism”.

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To add further context:

If women are allegedly passive and fragile, then why are Black women treated as “mules” and assigned heavy cleaning chores? If good mothers are supposed to stay at home with their children, then why are US Black women on public assistance forced to find jobs and leave their children in day care? If women’s highest calling is to become mothers, then why are Black teen mothers pressured to use Norplant and Depo Provera? In the absence of a viable Black feminism that investigates how intersecting oppressions of race, gender, and class foster these contradictions, the angle of vision created by being deemed devalued workers and failed mothers could easily be turned inward, leading to internalized oppression. But the legacy of struggle among US Black women suggests that a collectively shared Black women’s oppositional knowledge has long existed. This collective wisdom in turn has spurred US Black women to generate a more specialized knowledge, namely, Black feminist thought as critical social theory.12 

In Black Feminist Thought: Knowledge, Consciousness and the Politics of Empowerment (1990) by Patricia Hill Collins

 

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Marissa Alexander

Speakers at the mass rally on the National Mall included: Valarie (Philando Castile’s mother), Gloria Steinem (feminist icon), Gina Belafonte (activist, actress, producer), Linda Sarsour (Women’s March organizer), Steven Douglass (D.C. pastor, activist) and Marissa Alexander (imprisoned for firing a warning shot into the air in self-defense).

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Valarie (Philando Castile’s mother)

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Gina Belafonte

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“I want to remind everyone that black trans women are not a drop in the bucket of this movement, we are the bucket. Until we overflow our movement will never be able to move. We’ll be stagnant, and we’ll continue to leave people behind.” – HIV activist and M4BW Co-Organizer, Bré Anne Campbell

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The marches wrapped up with a candlelight vigil near the Martin Luther King Jr. memorial.

Here are more images from the day:

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