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Introducing: The Matriarchy Project

This January the Institute for Gender and Culture at Black Women’s Blueprint is excited to announce the launch of the Matriarchy Project, a new monthly series on Mamablack. Through the series, which will consist of interviews, essays, personal histories and perspectives, we aim to open the floor to our readers to share their own insights and experiences of black struggle and survival on our platform. Conceptually, the idea for the series came about in part as a response to the 1965 treatise The Negro Family: The Case for National Action (commonly referred to as the “Moynihan Report”) by Daniel Patrick Moynihan. The book has become an emblem of a certain paranoia around non-conventional black family structures, specifically that of the woman-led household in which no men are present. In particular we were interested in the fact that where Moynihan identifies a harmful “pathology,” as endemic to these matriarchal environments, black feminism identified such arrangements as the outcome of a certain resourcefulness of black women that enabled them to maintain bonds of trust and familiarity under conditions of captivity and systematic privation. With this series, we wish to both celebrate this ingenuity, as well as invite black women to share the various strategies of that they have invented or that have been passed down to them that have allowed them to hold themselves and their people together. Additionally, we want to emphasize the queer black family as one that exemplifies this same resourcefulness, and use this project as a platform for trans and queer folk in our community to share their own methods of survival, as well as explore the ways our libratory undertakings intersect. At Black Women’s Blueprint, we understand the immense political possibilities contained within the black family as both beautiful and necessary, and we invite our readers to join us in the cultivation of our collective wisdom, and the transforming of this wisdom into action.

The Matriarchy Project launches officially on March 8th. We are accepting written work, video, visual art, and music on a rolling submission basis from February 5th until June 15th. If interested in submitting a pitch for the project, or if you would like to share your story with us through an interview feel free to email us at:

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