Stand in Solidarity with Black Women
Stand in Solidarity with Black Women
Why this petition matters
To Whom It May Concern:
In an increasingly divisive society, Black women and girls in the United States are in crisis. Many people are unaware of misogynoir and how it manifests to collectively harm Black women. So, we are raising the alarm.
Misogynoir is rampant in ways that are not fully realized. The hashtag #SayHerName was created in 2014 to highlight misogynoir and how stories of Black women and girls often go overlooked, unnoticed, and untold. As cries for racial justice peak, centering and upholding Black women and girls’ rights is often erased from the very same social justice movement for which we continue to risk our lives.
Black women and girls deserve to exist in this world with peace and a sense of safety. We deserve to be free from abuse and violence.
However, study after study shows that racist and sexist assumptions about Black girls and women make us more likely to experience sexual, psychological, and physical violence in our lifetimes. Black women are murdered at a higher rate than any other racial/ethnic group, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Attacks on Black trans women, including a heartbreaking number of fatalities, have reached epidemic proportions.
Yet when abuse occurs, Black women and girls are less likely to be believed and supported. Girlhood Interrupted: The Erasure of Black Girls’ Childhood, a report published by Georgetown Law Center, found that “adults view Black girls as less innocent and more adult-like than their white peers.” As highlighted by ACLU, Black girls are perceived to be more independent and less in need of protection.
Interviews with 18 black women in elected office give texture to what public figures face: Black women politicians discuss experiences with racist and sexist attacks. Another article echoes accounts of threats to safety for Black women serving in public office; More Black women are being elected to office. Few feel safe once they get there.
Sojourner Truth spoke to the reality of being a woman, but not woman enough because of our beautiful Black skin. When you think of Black women like Ella Baker, Septima Clarke, Shirley Chisholm, Angela Davis, Fannie Lou Hamer, Barbara Jordan, Ruby Doris Smith Robinson, and Ida B. Wells, who have served as role models for so many Black female activists and spurred our steadfast commitment for social and racial justice despite the burden of the multiple injustices we face, we see the dynamics and patterns that gave rise to the penning of the book, “This Bridge Called My Back.” a feminist anthology edited by Cherríe Moraga and Gloria E. Anzaldúa.
Our outspoken style of activism comes at a cost, both personally and professionally.
As the storytellers noted in the report--We All Deserve Safety and Peace: Amidst a Surge in Divisiveness, We, as Black Women Advancing Social Justice, Are Under Increased Threat--for Black women, it is more than double jeopardy based on racism and hate. Moreover, it is a living consequence of what happens when you confront power and disrupt the status quo. It causes an immediate reaction of discomfort, fear, and rage from white America that results in a differential targeting of Black women on an escalated level.
As Black women, we hold many roles. We are political strategists, elected officials, philanthropists, business executives, and activists. We are doctors and lawyers and social workers. We are artists and faith leaders. We are educators and students. We are wives, mothers, sisters, and aunties. We set and shift culture. We build power and we are powerful.
And we are here to say we are not giving in. We are standing up for our right to safety and peace. Zora Neal Hurston said it best, “If you are silent about your pain, they'll kill you and say you enjoyed it.'
The voices of Black women will no longer be muffled, stifled, and silenced. “Protect Black Women” isn’t just a catchy slogan for a purse or t-shirt, it’s a demand, and we deserve and will accept nothing less.
Sign your name to stand in solidarity for the protection of Black women and girls.