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Black Women

Black Women Will Face The Brunt Of Abortion Bans

On July 29, Louisiana reinstated a controversial abortion ban, which led to the immediate cancellation of procedures in the state. Following the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade in late June, a number of states across the country have moved to outlaw abortion, and in Louisiana, women in poverty will bear the worst burdens of the newly reinstated ban. These women are the true experts regarding the fatal risks of taking away reproductive freedom in the state — not anti-abortion politicians. The politicians gutting abortion rights likely don’t understand the pain of holding a friend as she sobs on the bathroom floor, assuming it’s the worst menstrual cycle of her life, only to discover that she is experiencing a missed miscarriage and her life is at stake. But I do.

A Black-Women-Led And Life-Based Project For A New Colombia

Francia Márquez Mina, a 40-year-old Black female activist from the predominantly Black and forgotten region of the Colombian Pacific coast, is shifting the terms of political debate in the second 'Blackest' nation in South America. Francia, the first Black woman to run for the Colombian presidency, is leading a collective effort by women, LGBTQ+ communities, Black youth, peasants, and the poor in general to transform Colombia's insidious patterns of violence and socio-racial inequalities. According to  Infobae , as many as 54.2% of Colombia’s population face food insecurity, 42% are under the poverty line, and 10.8% of children are under chronic malnutrition. The country has one of the largest internally-displaced populations and the longest armed conflict in the hemisphere.

Why Black Women Are Often Missing From Conversations About Police Violence

When Lajuana Phillips was shot and killed by a police officer in late 2018, she was a mother of three children, a daughter and a cousin who was described by family as “a hard worker,” according to an online memorial. But Phillip’s death received little media attention. There were a few local stories when she was first identified by police, and others detailing the circumstances that led to her being shot at six times. But that was about it. Phillips isn’t alone. Crystal Danielle Ragland, who was killed in Huntsville, Alabama; Latasha Nicole Walton of Florida; and April Webster of South Carolina, to name a few, also received little news coverage after their fatal encounters with law enforcement. Most people fatally shot by police get little to no attention from national media outlets.

How To Remember A Feminist Movement That Hasn’t Ended

Increasing outrage from critics over what the New York Times’ Brent Staples called the monument’s “lily-white version of history.” The proposed monument, wrote another critic in a similar vein, “manages to recapitulate the marginalization Black women experienced during the suffrage movement,” as when white organizers forced Black activists to walk at the back of a 1913 women’s march on Washington. Historian Martha Jones in an op-ed in the Washington Post criticized the way the planned monument promoted the “myth” that the fight for women’s rights was led by Anthony’s and Stanton’s “narrow, often racist vision,” and called for adding escaped slave, abolitionist, and women’s rights promoter Sojourner Truth. Although the New York City Public Design Commission had approved the design with just Anthony and Stanton, Monumental Women did indeed rework the monument, adding a portrait of Truth in June 2019. The sculptor would later make additional smaller changes in response to further criticism about her depiction of Truth, including changing the positioning of her hands and body to make her a more active participant in the scene.

Silence Is Not An Option: Black Women Make History

Mainstream media and politicians have paid almost exclusive attention to ideas and images of Black men — whether as victims of police violence or as protesters against it. Yet Black women, who are no less subject to structural racism and violence, have been at the forefront of the multi-racial Black Lives Matter Movement for years. ROAR associate editor Eleanor Finley had the opportunity to explore some of these subjects with Dr. Keisha N. Blain, an award-winning historian and Black feminist scholar at the University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Blain is also president of the African American Intellectual History Society (AAIHS) and author of Set the World on Fire, a history of Black nationalist women’s political activism. In the following interview, Dr. Blain describes her work and explains what history has to teach the present moment about structural racism and police violence, Black transnational activism, and the vital role of women’s leadership in Black political movements.

#FreeBlackMamas Bails Black Mothers From Jail For Mother’s Day

In 1870, abolitionist Julia Ward Howe issued her Mother’s Day proclamation: a call for mothers across the United States to end war. It was five years since the end of the Civil War and the passage of the 13th Amendment, which banned chattel slavery with one notable exception: involuntary servitude is allowed as punishment for a crime. Nearly 150 years later, Howe’s dream of ending war has yet to become a reality. And the 13th Amendment has become more significant as, over the past 40 years, the number of people being sent to prison has skyrocketed. But accompanying these soaring numbers have been calls for abolition of another kind — to abolish prisons.

Black Women’s Labor Market History Reveals Deep-Seated Race And Gender Discrimination

The black woman’s experience in America provides arguably the most overwhelming evidence of the persistent and ongoing drag from gender and race discrimination on the economic fate of workers and families. Black women’s labor market position is the result of employer practices and government policies that disadvantaged black women relative to white women and men. Negative representations of black womanhood have reinforced these discriminatory practices and policies. Since the era of slavery, the dominant view of black women has been that they should be workers, a view that contributed to their devaluation as mothers with caregiving needs at home.

Hundreds Gather For The March For Black Women In D.C.

Black activist groups marched on the National Mall and Justice Department in Washington, D.C. on Saturday to raise awareness about the injustices black women face. The march’s goal was to “denounce the propagation of state-violence and the widespread incarceration of Black women and girls, rape and all sexualized violence, the murders and brutalization of transwomen and the disappearances of our girls from our streets, our schools and our homes,” according to a statement.

Baltimore’s Girls Are Being Pushed Out Of Schools

As the new school year approaches, The Real News Network will continue to explore the intersections of equity, race, and access to opportunities for quality, safe, and supportive public school environments. In early summer 2018, we attended a town hall event hosted in partnership with Not Without Black Women, the University of Maryland School of Law, and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund in advance of the release of the LDF’s new study Our Girls, Our Future. The two organizations held this discussion during Say Her Name Week 2018, a national week of action targeted at ending violence against all black women, girls, and femmes.

Racism Is Literally Killing African-American Mothers

At first glance, tennis star Serena Williams and the late activist Erica Garner don’t have much in common. They lived different lives on different ends of the socioeconomic spectrum. But as black women in America, they both shared horrifying stories due to complications from childbirth. Our country spends more on health care than any other high-income country — but still holds the worst record for maternal mortality in the developed world. This maternal health crisis is driven by the high rates of African-American women who die while pregnant or within one year of the end of a pregnancy. Black mothers die at three to four times the rate of white mothers due to pregnancy-related complications. While existing health disparities can add to the risk, one recent study found that racism is a major driver of the gap.

The Hidden History Of Black Nationalist Women’s Political Activism

Black History Month is an opportunity to reflect on the historical contributions of black people in the United States. Too often, however, this history focuses on black men, sidelining black women and diminishing their contributions. This is true in mainstream narratives of black nationalist movements in the United States. These narratives almost always highlight the experiences of a handful of black nationalist men, including Marcus Garvey, Malcolm X and Louis Farrakhan. Contrary to popular conceptions, women were also instrumental to the spread and articulation of black nationalism – the political view that people of African descent constitute a separate group on the basis of their distinct culture, shared history and experiences.

Black Women Challenge ‘White Feminism’ of Women’s March

“Black women’s issues need to be at the forefront in order for this country to move forward,” said Brittany Oliver, founding director of Not Without Black Women (NWBW), to many cheers from the crowd gathered at the Lincoln Memorial. About 10,000 people wrapped around the Reflecting Pool and stretched up the Memorial’s steps. Oliver said she was there to “challenge white feminism” and stress “how important our voices are.” “Since we were here a year ago, there has been a seismic shift in the way women are dealing with the symptoms of gender bias, including the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements,” she said. She reminded them that #MeToo was founded a decade ago—by a black woman. “You saw #MeToo and Tawana Burke for over ten years, and [she] didn’t get recognition for it until recently,” Oliver said.

Why This Temple Student Is Organizing A March For Black Women: ‘They Matter’

By Sofiya Ballin for Philly.com The message is fitting. It was Malcolm who said: “The most disrespected woman in America is the black woman. The most unprotected person in America is the black woman. The most neglected person in America is the black woman.” Those words replay in Fenner’s head as she plans her first march, “A March for Black Women,” scheduled to take place Friday. Demonstrators will set out at 1 p.m. from City Hall to Cecil B. Moore Avenue to celebrate and highlight the diversity of black women and honor black women who were victims of police brutality. Fenner is spreading word of the march through social media and hopes to have a large turnout of women — and men. The 19-year-old Temple University sophomore and Philadelphia native said it’s to “celebrate black women for who they are and not what the media wants them to be.” “I’ve been to plenty of marches for black men who have been harassed or killed by police,” she said. “But when I went to one for Sandra Bland, it was very small.” In 2015, Bland, a 28-year-old black woman, died in police custody after being arrested during a traffic stop in Texas. Fenner also recalled that in 2016, Korryn Gaines, 23, was shot by police in her Baltimore home with her 5-year-old son close by. But, she said, “nobody was marching.”

The Combahee River Collective Statement

By Staff of Lib Com - A 1977 statement by a black feminist group which is widely considered a foundational text of the 'intersectional' approach to identity politics, which emphasises multiple, simultaneous forms of oppression. We are a collective of Black feminists who have been meeting together since 1974.1 During that time we have been involved in the process of defining and clarifying our politics, while at the same time doing political work within our own group and in coalition with other progressive organizations and movements. The most general statement of our politics at the present time would be that we are actively committed to struggling against racial, sexual, heterosexual, and class oppression, and see as our particular task the development of integrated analysis and practice based upon the fact that the major systems of oppression are interlocking. The synthesis of these oppressions creates the conditions of our lives. As Black women we see Black feminism as the logical political movement to combat the manifold and simultaneous oppressions that all women of color face. We will discuss four major topics in the paper that follows: (1) the genesis of contemporary Black feminism; (2) what we believe, i.e., the specific province of our politics; (3) the problems in organizing Black feminists, including a brief herstory of our collective; and (4) Black feminist issues and practice.

‘Ain’t I A Woman’ March Highlights The Need For Black Women’s Voices Now

By Taryn Finley for The Huffington Post - Organizers created the event to fill a void they felt was left by January’s Women’s March. More than 1,500 people gathered on Saturday to participate in a black women’s rights march in Sacramento. The march was organized by Black Women United, a non-profit organization “dedicated to the education, protection, and advancement of Black women.” BWU, founded in February, came up with the “Ain’t I A Woman” march as a way to include black women more in today’s women’s rights movement. The event was intended to uplift and empower black women while highlighting the multitude of issues affecting them. Imani Mitchell, one of the organizers, told HuffPost that the overwhelming whiteness of the Women’s March in January left many black women feeling as though the event wasn’t for them. “This event we had is kind of a response to the Women’s March back in January. More so, though, we just wanted to continue the conversation but with a focus on black women and black women’s issues,” Mitchell said.
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