I suppose it’s naïve of me to admit that I still find it difficult to believe racism is still a prevalent aspect in society, In 2020. I find it difficult to comprehend that people still feel a warranted reason to hate someone is purely the colour of their skin. And that worries me, quite frankly it angers me to think of all the innocent lives lost, because, quite simply the justice system is racist.
George Floyd, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, all black people who came away from a situation dead, that a white person would have left alive.
I think of the hashtag Say Their Name and it disgusts me that there are so many names on that list it seems endless. It disgusts me that some seem more angered over the destruction of materialistic items that can be replaced than the fact a man lost his life and that can never ever be replaced.
The events that are occurring right now are invoking real change, everywhere I look, on all social media platforms, I face a bombardment of information surrounding the topic. This is what we need, we need to bombard the higher powers, showing them that we will no longer settle for the mistreatment of our black community and globally we will not stop until we see a reformation.
So, attend protests- but be safe, sign petitions, post on social media, donate what you can, write emails… Because together our voices can change the world, and they will.
To tie this in with the theme of this page I wanted to highlight some influential black female figures in the feministic movement, past and present to further uplift fellow black women.
- FRANCIS HARPER ABOLITIONIST POET
Francis Harper stands out to me as she was one of the first black novelists. She confronted the oppression black women faced with a fierce resolve. Along with Harriet Tubman she helped to found the National Association of Colored Women which worked to protect the rights and improved the quality of life for women and children.
2. OPRAH WINFREY PHILANTHROPIST
Oprah Winfrey, my personal role model, entered the media with the belief that she was “too black” and “too fat” yet, she proceeded to dominate the space, becoming the first African American multi billionaire. Oprah Winfrey’s show took the concerns that women faced everyday and made them matter, from struggles in a relationship, to weight loss, to racism and sexism and domestic abuse. She successfully used her platform to work towards inspiring women to “live their best lives”
3. SHIRLEY CHISHOLM POLITICIAN, EDUCATOR, AUTHOR
Shirley Chisolm, the second woman and first African American to be elected to the United States congress. She dedicated her political career to fighting for social justices and better education. She was one of the biggest supporters of the Equal Rights amendment, a controversial law that feminists had been pushing for since 1923 and stood up to the notion that the political house was only a place for white males.
4. MICHELLE OBAMA FORMER FIRST LADY, ACTIVIST
Michelle Obama is one of the most popular role models for young women and rightly so. She has done so much for young girls and women everywhere from the the ‘Let the Girls Learn’ initiative to the ‘Reach Higher’ initiative. She consistently stands up for African women and made it clear that “No country can ever truly flourish if it stifles the potential of its women and deprives itself of the contributions of half of its citizens”. She is a truly inspirational woman.
5. MARY SEACOLE NURSE
Mary Seacole was a British Jamaican woman who cared for British soldiers behind lines during the Crimean war. Despite being denied placement there, she funded her own journey to the site in order to ensure her proper care of sick and wounded soldiers. Mary Seacole is a prime example of a woman who pushed at the boundaries she faced in order to better the lives of others.