Statement about the March for Black Women
On September 30, 2017, Black women in all their diversity will march at the center of the March for Racial Justice in our very own MARCH FOR BLACK WOMEN in Washington, D.C. 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.
Moreover, in this highly political moment of the 20th anniversary of the Million Woman March, the March for Black Women will amplify the struggles of Black women in the rural South—the “Black Belt”, and demand a cease and desist of all threats to those of us who are immigrant women across the country living in fear of deportation.
On September 30, 2017, Black cis and trans identified women will remove the gags from our mouths, protest in collective action and lift the foot of imperialist white supremacist patriarchy off our necks. We call on every Black woman from every U.S. city, every walk of life, every demographic to rise together within our differences and face our common oppressors—the systems, and too often the very communities claiming civil and human rights for some, while invisibilizing, rejecting and relegating the rest of us to political backseats.
We call on women of the Global South to stand with us as we stand with them, in mutual resistance of the relentless, systematic extortion of lives, of land and other assets serving the interests of the economic elites, the racially privileged, and public officials. Our trauma should neither be bifurcated by national borders (the United States versus Central or South America, the Caribbean and Africa) or by a false conception of time-space (the egregious conditions of the colonial past versus a seemingly utopic post-colonial or post-racial future).
Silenced no more, the March for Black Women will demand a particular brand of racial justice: a racial justice requiring we reject age-old divide and conquer tactics and center Black transwomen in all Black community struggles, bar-none. We want a brand of racial justice deployed, centering the trauma and complexity of all Black women’s lived experiences of atrocity across generations.
If you can’t march with us, click here for other ways to support Black women at #M4BW.
If you can’t march with us, then ride with us. If you can’t ride with us, then shout from your front yards, your kitchen tables and from your street corners. Shout from the pews of your churches and LGBTQ centers, from your HBCUs and healing circles, from the halls and stairwells of the public housing complex where they put you, and from your conference tables and board rooms. Our differently-abled Black sisters, our grandmothers and great-grandmothers, we ask you to rise with us in your hearts and in your bones.
Rise with us with all that is within you, in a March for Racial Justice that means justice for all genders.
Recent actions by our federal government and leaders to dismantle our civil and human rights by plotting to eliminate access to health care, and in particular reproductive health; the increase of prisons while threatening to eliminate resources to communities of color that empower all of us to prevent violence against cis and trans identified women; and the undermining of economic justice demonstrates not only a disregard for the lives of all Black women in America, but perpetuates what James Baldwin prophetically proclaimed—that “the American Dream is at the expense of [Black people]”. The physical, financial and social enrichment of the nation-state at the expense of Black bodies and at the expense of Black lives is too old a strategy, and Black women will not allow for it. It is us, and in particular trans Black women and our girls, and our elders and those of us on a low income, who bear the brunt of a multitude of racialized and sexualized abuses which are not challenged with outrage, do not make the screens of our social media pages nor our televisions.
In this moment of realization once again that “we are all we’ve got,” we call on all Black Lives Matter, Movement for Black Lives, and Black communities at large to march especially for the lives and rights of Black transwomen, for the gender non-conforming and for our Black girls in all the 50 states, plus the so-called territories and all the African diaspora. By their very being, it is through Black transwomen and Black girls that the revolutionary potential of our entire Black community resides. Theirs are the Black lives who underscore the poignancy of this moment, and a future where all Black women and Black communities are liberated from persistent, imposed and internalized axes of gender-oppression, domination and discrimination.
Please join us, our comrades and partners in the March for Black Women, in mass mobilization for our security and safety, our human rights and our freedoms, calling on the federal government and our own Black communities to take the following actions:
Issue an apology to all Black women for centuries of abuses, including sexual violence and reproductive violations against Black bodies, especially the brutalization of transwomen.
Beyond the 2016 Gender Bias Policing Guidance, ensure immediate and sustainable measures by the U.S. Government to eliminate incarcerations, incidences of rape and “sexual misconduct”, police murder and violence against all Black women, and especially transwomen.
End the threat against the human right to healthcare and increase access, including all reproductive health care, bar none.
Ensure economic justice for Black low income women at the communal and federal level, many of whom are at increased risk for violence due to lack of economic power.
Cease and desist all threats of deportation of immigrant women across the country, especially those whose deportation may cost them their lives or safety.
Farah Tanis, Black Women’s Blueprint, New York
Bré Anne Campbell, Trans Sistas of Color Project, Detroit
Charlene Caruthers, Black Youth Project (BYP100), Chicago
Our Steering Committee
Afua Addo, Center for Court Innovations
Ahmad Green, Children of Combahee
Alexis Flanigan, Resonance
Elle Hearns, Marcia P Johnson Institute, DC
Erika Totten, Harriet's Apothecary
Jamilah Lemieux, News One
Kim D. Lett, Mic
Monica Raye Simpson, Sister Song
Naimah Johnson, Harriet's Apthecary
Nicole Denson, Wayne County Safe
Onleilove Alston, Executive Director at Faith in New York
Ruby Sales, Spirithouse
Shawnda Chapman Brown
Sheynice Poindexter, Hariet's Apothecary