Black History Month Super Post Edition:
Actress and activist extraordinaire Gabrielle Union recently opened up about the sexual assault she experienced at age nineteen. Everyone heals in their own way and everyone speaks about their assault differently, so whether or not Union’s words resonate with you, it’s always amazing to see young women speak up about their experiences.
The ever wonderful Autostraddle compiled this mega list of amazing lesbian, bisexual, queer, and transgender black women and you should scroll through right now.
If that’s not enough, check out our feminist facts in honor of Black History Month!
- Sojourner Truth first introduced the concept of intersectionality in 1851. With her powerful speech “Ain’t I a Woman?”, she revealed the fallacy of making generalizations about all women and showed that African American women are central to anti-sexist and anti-racist work.
- Rosa Parks wasn’t just a woman who was too tired to give up her seat. She served as secretary in her local NAACP chapter and had non-violent resistance training. Aside from launching the Montgomery bus boycott in 1955, she was passionate about investigating and preventing the sexual assault of African American women.
- We can thank Florynce Kennedy any time we use a women’s restroom at a formerly all-male institution. Understanding that outrageous protests get much more news coverage, Florynce Kennedy organized “A Protest Pee-In on the Harvard Yard” in 1973 to publicly demonstrate the literal consequences of not having restrooms for women on campus by spilling a symbolic yellow liquid.
- Dr. Betty Harris blazed a trail for girls in science. Though the research chemist is best known for inventing a spot test to identify explosives, her contributions to science go beyond her own accomplishments. Recently, Dr. Harris worked with the Girl Scouts to create the organization’s first chemistry merit badge.
- Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Beyoncé made feminism “music to our ears.” Literally. In December 2013 Beyoncé released an album that broke the iTunes record for fastest-selling album. One of its record-breaking songs is “***Flawless,” which features a sample from Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s TED talk entitled “We Should All Be Feminists.” Couldn’t agree more!
Florida-based activist group The Dream Defenders are one of my favorite groups working today. Whenever anyone says that young people are not invested in the struggle against violence and oppression, I send them to the Dream Defenders. If you’re new to the group, check out their stellar Instagram page which combines Drake lyrics with images of children whose murderers were acquitted based on “Stand Your Ground” laws. For a healthy dose of weekend inspiration check out their website and learn about how they’re making Florida safer for children of color.
And last but not least, if you’re not watching Broad City you are seriously missing out. Unless you’re under eighteen in which case stay away — the show contains mentions of sex and drugs. But for everyone else, this is the funniest, realest new comedy show out there. It stars two amazing women, Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer and is executive produced by the ever awesome Amy Poehler. So go forth and watch the full first episode. I promise it’s awesome.
Alice Wilder is our Social Media Intern. She works on a variety of outreach projects for education and advocacy.