The March for Black Women: We Have to Be There

One of the loneliest places I’ve ever been is in the middle of the Women’s March in Washington, D.C. A sea of pink pussy hats, white women, and no one besides myself giving or knowing a damn about what’s happening to Black American women. Like many Black and Brown femmes who were in attendance that day, what I witnessed was a white feminist fest, complete with circles of women singing ‘This Land is Your Land’, and crowds who would snare and grunt at disabled women in wheel chairs who needed to get through.

That day, January 21, 2017 would be the beginning of what has become a radical unshifting process in which I’ve denounced all toxic masculine rhetoric, and detached myself from all forms of feminist, social, and political spaces that do not center the crises and community of Black women. In other words, I have very few friends left and even less safe spaces.

Since that time, Black women have been faced with conflicts. From the reclaiming of the me too movement (R. Kelly take-down, Random Acts of Flyness episode 4, etc.), vicious murders of Black trans women across the country, rising HIV rates, misogynoir, death by domestic violence, and the maternal mortality crisis. Our collective plate is stacked pretty high. Despite these public and life-risking issues that plague cis and trans Black American women, we’re the only ones invested in trying to keep each other alive.

Even times like now when it seems all the odds are stacked against us and it’s Black American Women vs Everybody Else, we’re reminded of the magic we’re born from. Many of us Sisters have been getting by, huddling around our respective kitchen tables, water coolers, and other designated safe spaces, maintaining our strategic process of uplifting our community and creating advancement, safety, and health for ourselves. While we will never forget the current struggles that challenge us, we’ll also never forget the mountains we’ve moved and the women we are. We are the same one thousand six hundred Black women to take out a full-page ad in support of Anita Hill. We are the women who lived and died fighting for our reproductive rights — not out of liberty, but out of revenge for having our bodies used as the experiment. We are the women who gave birth to movement that’s taken down white men of gargantuan power, yet we are dying at alarming rates in the delivery room. We’re the ones who should be leading a fucking march.

“Our March is not only a mass mobilization centered on all Black women, but a reminder to every single one of us that so long as Black women have their children forcibly taken, deported or killed by law enforcement; so long as our daughters are sold or go missing; so long as we are raped by friends, family, dates, strangers, prominent persons or nationally renown predators — WE MUST DEPLOY OUR COLLECTIVE POWER. DEMAND JUSTICE. FIGHT FOR PEACE.” -Black Women Blueprint

This weekend, the March for Black Women is uniting Black women from across the country. We’re standing up for all of our rights that have been threatened, all of our liberties that are compromised, and all of the times this nation has silenced us.

Of course, unlike The Women’s March of 2017, we do not have the backing of corporations, organizations, and other institutions who are willing to support and sponsor. However, what we lack in support we make up with Sisterhood. The one hotel room that I have rented will be packed with Black women I’ve never met. And, I don’t know how I’m getting to the bus depot in the city, but I know I have a ride.

There are more than a few Black women who will be attending March for Black Women, but are lacking money for toiletries, food, and lodging. While Sisters with Aspiration, a woman’s empowerment group that caters to Black women and women of color, has been able to provide funds for some women, it’s not enough. If you’d like to donate toward transportation, lodging, food, and other fees, please donate at: paypal.me/tamelagordon

“We give ourselves permission to believe in the power of our demands and the strength of our convictions to take back what is already ours.”

Tamela J. Gordon is a writer, and Black feminist. She’s the creator of the women’s empowerment group, Sisters with Aspiration, as well as SWA’s Black Feminists Book Club, an online space for all women and non-men to explore the literary and creative works of Black women and women of color. You can gift books for readers or pay Tamela HERE: To contact Tamela for speaking engagements or creating your own women’s empowerment group, email shewritestolive@gmail.com

Writer. Feminist. Advocate for people living with HIV/AIDS.