Women’s History Month has come around again to honor powerful women who have shaped the world in a positive way. Here at BlackRoots Alliance, we are proud to be a small but mighty staff of all Black women. Also, the majority of our partner organizations are led by Black women. We continue to lift up the work of Black women, and make sure we boost the signals of all women across social justice spaces. The likes of Karen Lewis, Aislinn Pulley, Kim Foxx, Peggy Montes, and countless other Chicago-based community champions, should be bestowed their flowers while they’re able to physically accept them. But if that opportunity is missed, give them an ancestral send-off worthy of a queen.
We have to recognize the importance of sharing the untold stories of women whose legacies have inspired change. Where was Breonna Taylor’s applause for her commitment to community service as a paramedic and health professional? Why didn’t Sandra Bland receive praise for her advocacy work, through her YouTube channel? How did the assasination of Alberta King become a forgotten act of terrorism even though she birthed one of the leaders of the Civil Rights Movement? Because of the brutal natures in which they passed, Sandra Bland, Alberta King, and Breonna Taylor are only now receiving recognition for the beautiful lives they led. We need to correct this practice of only celebrating Black women within the frame of their murders.
It is now time that we ramp up telling our stories, our struggles, our triumphs and present them through our own forms of media. Black women like Regina King and Shonda Rimes write their own scripts and produce their own films and series. We need more Black women to craft their own animations and hire their own voice actors. We need more Black women like Toni Morrison, Maya Angelou, and Zora Neale Hurston to write their own memoirs and publish them through their own means.
We need to push our messaging through the officials we elect that properly represent us. We should draft policies and force our seat at decision-making tables. And if there isn’t a seat then we bring a chair. And if there isn’t a table, we build it ourselves. Our Black women will be celebrated by sharing their triumphs to build communities, legacies, and the future. We can't control death, but we can control the way we live. It is our responsibility to continuously honor the honorable regardless of public opinion.