@itsdaniellleee, @dlolo, @mylifeasjaye, @shanell_price, @maniacline
In a time when silence can no longer be tolerated and neutrality can no longer be justified, the intertwined nature of inclusivity and equality on all fronts (race, gender, sexuality, etc.) demands that we amplify and listen to the truths of those who have gone unheard for far longer than can ever be deemed acceptable.
In other words, the empowerment and uplifting women as strong, feminine forces only holds true potency if we are dedicated to the amplification all women and their voices. We can start by handing the microphone back to BIPOC women, whose repeatedly muted voices need to be heard now more than ever before.
True equality and empowerment begins and ends with inclusivity, making it undeniably important to recognize and accept the role that we each have to play in re-writing the worn-out narrative that has historically accepted and bolstered white, male privilege and that is now yearning to evolve.
That role is not to mask accountability with trending hashtags or sticker statements. The unlawful killing of Black people and the ingrained, systemic racism that it reflects is not an Instagram trend that should be allowed to fizzle out when June is over.
Dismantling systemic racism is the center of an ongoing conversation that needs to persist beyond the half-life of a hashtag or a black square. This is a movement that demands continual education and evaluation, consistent growth and adaptability, and constant recognition of responsibility and privilege. It’s about not only amplifying, but truly hearing and digesting the words of BIPOC women.
It is not enough to shout your support when it is relevant or soothing for your guilt.
It is not enough to speak with no intention of listening.
It is not enough to act only when people are watching.
It is not enough to buoy one’s self on less than a month’s worth of reflections and statements whilst ignorance continues to churn right beneath the surface.
Actively listening and sharing the stories & words of BIPOC women is present self-expression that is not self-serving.
The Black Lives Matter movement will not be just another fleeting moment in history. It is rooted far deeper in humanity than the shallows of any passing social media trend or phase. It has more to say than any hashtag can ever truly capture. We’re listening and will continue to listen. As women have always done, we will persist.