Women's Herstory Month

Here at BlackRoots Alliance we continue to be proud of the mighty ecosystem of Black women we belong to. We’re working tirelessly on numerous campaigns but the most noteworthy is reparations. We want to use Women’s History Month to uplift the work of the Black women who are the mothers of this movement. The likes of Audley “Queen Mother” Moore, Callie House, Belinda Sutton, and countless other community champions, should be given all their accolades. We have to recognize the importance of sharing the untold stories of women whose legacies have inspired change. 

Queen Mother nursed modern Black liberation. She embraced a vision of radical Black independence. She was able to link her struggle with that of other radicals around the world. Her pamphlet, Why Reparations?, is a call-to-action for the economic security and political freedom of more than 25 million descendants (at that time) of Black American slaves. At the time, its publishing coincided with the 25th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, making it an relevant reflection on the impact of chattel slavery. Queen Mother also organized the Reparations Committee for United States Slaves’ Descendants, Inc., their main goal was to seek monetary compensation dispersed to descendants of Black American slaves.

Callie House was a leader of the National Ex-Slave Mutual Relief, Bounty, and Pension Association, one of the first organizations to campaign for reparations for slavery in the United States. She organized hundreds of thousands of people calling for US reparations, building a powerful movement for which she was unjustly imprisoned in 1916 for mail fraud.

Belinda Sutton was a Black woman who was enslaved by the Royalls. She’s known for her remarkable and unapologetic 1783 petition to the Massachusetts General Court, in which she recounted her life story and claimed a pension from the estate of Isaac Royall Jr. Her public assertion and the unheard of audacity to claim her rights gave her a place in history and cemented her as a heroine of reparations for American enslavement.

Black women have come up with the central principles, ideas, and organizational infrastructures of reparation-based solutions since the beginning. One of the most popular reparation proposals is designed to respond to the economic gap between white and Black Americans. But this is just one approach to reparations and the exact application should be representative of the emergent needs for each individual community. Remember, Black folks aren’t a monolith and therefore reparations can’t be developed as a one-size fits all technique.

You can make history too! Come join BlackRoots Alliance in continuing in the legacy of reparations by attending our virtual event on Saturday, April 13. In partnership with Equity and Transformation and a dynamic panel of predominantly Black women, we'll be diving into reparations plans for cities like ours and Evanston, Kansas City, Detroit, and South Bend!

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