A Disturbing Trend; Reflections On The Erasure Of Black Women In Activist Movements. : ThyBlackMan

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

A Disturbing Trend; Reflections On The Erasure Of Black Women In Activist Movements.

April 16, 2019 by  
Filed under News, Opinion, Politics, Weekly Columns

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(ThyBlackMan.com) Although my male contemporaries consider my standard refrain that “Black America does not move unless Black women move them” to be posturing aimed at currying favor with the majority female audiences present during my lectures, the truth of the matter is that my people do not move forward without the contributions of Black women. The Black women who sit in my lectures take particular delight in the historically supportable observation that “although a man such as MLK may be behind the wheel of the car, the truth of the matter is that the vehicle will not move very far without an engine; for Black America, that engine is Black women.”

Such thoughts appeared in my mind this morning as I began to reflect on the fact that March is “Women’s History Month.” This moment will not be much different from other moments in this nation when Black Women will once again be expected to “sit down and shut up” by White Women as they celebrate women without the annoying distraction of Race. Although a tired and sad refrain, Black Women will have to force their way onto the stage to celebrate their own historic contributions.

It seems that it was another lifetime when I was forced by brilliant Black Women such as Dr. Paulette Pierce, Dr. Valerie Lee, Dr. Leslie Alexander, and a host of other scholars to consider the peculiar dilemma Black Women faced on a daily basis. Black Women are the very personification of what W.E.B. DuBois termed ‘duality’ in The Souls of Black Folk. According to DuBois,

It is a peculiar sensation, this double-consciousness, this sense of always looking at one’s self through the eyes of others, of measuring one’s soul by the tape of a world that looks on in amused contempt and pity. One ever feels his two-ness,—an American, a Negro; two souls, two thoughts, two unreconciled strivings; two warring ideals in one dark body, whose dogged strength alone keeps it from being torn asunder.

The history of the American Negro is the history of this strife – this longing to attain self-conscious manhood, to merge his double self into a better and truer self. In this merging he wishes neither of the older selves to be lost. He does not wish to Africanize America, for America has too much to teach the world and Africa. He wouldn’t bleach his Negro blood in a flood of white Americanism, for he knows that Negro blood has a message for the world. He simply wishes to make it possible for a man to be both a Negro and an American without being cursed and spit upon by his fellows, without having the doors of opportunity closed roughly in his face.

The harsh dilemma that DuBois presents is a fair description of the state of Black Women for the past century. Even a superficial analysis of this matter displays that within Black America, Black Men have demanded in venues as disparate from activist planning meetings to the lecture hall that Black Women deny a significant portion of their identity for the sake of Black America. The demand from Black Men is a damning demand that requires Black Women never use well-developed activist skills and mental power to advance their unique issues. Sadly, the vast majority of Black Men mute the issues facing Black Women by superimposing their issues atop them.

White Women are no better in their treatment of Black Women. One must applaud the ingenuity of White Women being able to speak about Women’s Rights issues without any mention of Race or Black Women. What amounts to a conscious decision to sidestep racial matters is akin to telling Black Women to sit down and shut-up about their particular issues; if they are able to do such, they will receive ill-fitting scraps of freedom that more privileged women discard as useless garments.

The historical record shows that it is ironic that as marginalized groups fight for politico-economic power,  Black Women have to fight to have their voices heard; a necessary evil considering that neither Black Men nor White Women have shown much interest in the liberation of Black Women.

So, as we embark on yet another Women’s History Month, I feel compelled to first tip my hat to Black Women for their historic contributions to what can be only termed an evolving Democracy and then to say that the old Black Panther Party saying of “All Power To The People” includes Black Women. I pray on a daily basis for another crop of “angry Black Women” who refuse to take a backseat and sit down in a forced silence; Lord knows that this world needs politicized Black Women as they are the only thing that has ever produced tangible improvements for Black America.

Fight the Power, my sisters, we certainly need you!!!!!!!

Staff Writer; Dr. James Thomas Jones III

Official website; http://www.ManhoodRaceCulture.com

One may also connect with this brother via TwitterDrJamestJones.

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