‘Ain’t I A Woman’ March Highlights The Need For Black Women’s Voices Now

Organizers created the event to fill a void they felt was left by January’s Women’s March.

Angel Rodriguez
Black Women United organized Sacramento’s first march for black women’s rights.

More than 1,500 people gathered on Saturday to participate in a black women’s rights march in Sacramento.

The march was organized by Black Women United, a non-profit organization “dedicated to the education, protection, and advancement of Black women.” BWU, founded in February, came up with the “Ain’t I A Woman” march as a way to include black women more in today’s women’s rights movement.

The event was intended to uplift and empower black women while highlighting the multitude of issues affecting them. Imani Mitchell, one of the organizers, told HuffPost that the overwhelming whiteness of the Women’s March in January left many black women feeling as though the event wasn’t for them.

“This event we had is kind of a response to the Women’s March back in January. More so, though, we just wanted to continue the conversation but with a focus on black women and black women’s issues,” Mitchell said. “I love being a black woman and I love black women and I felt that an event like this was needed and in many ways therapeutic for some black women when everyday it feels as though resisting is a struggle.”

Angel Rodriguez
About 1,500 people of various backgrounds showed their support on Saturday. 

The name of the march comes from Sojourner Truth’s famous 1851 “Ain’t I A Woman” speech, in which the activist stated that black women are erased from the conversation about women’s rights time and time again. 

“I have borne thirteen children, and seen most all sold off to slavery, and when I cried out with my mother’s grief, none but Jesus heard me! And ain’t I a woman?” Truth said.

Mitchell said Truth’s 1851 speech still resonates today. 

“In many ways it’s unfortunate that it’s appropriate but it is appropriate,” Mitchell told. “She had to really affirm herself and now here we are in 2017 as black women still feeling like we have to affirm that we deserve to be heard, we deserve to be seen, that our voices should be lifted and elevated. I feel, also, ‘Ain’t I A Woman’ works perfectly for trans women, specifically trans women of color. Because they, as well are having to constantly reaffirm their womanhood and not only just their womanhood but their humanity.”

Angel Rodriguez
“A lot of black women, for once, felt recognized and they felt heard and they did really truly feel united,” Mitchell said.

Saturday’s event included a march to the state capitol building, and speeches by former Black Panther leader Elaine Brown, black and trans rights activist Raquel Willis and other notable activists and organizers.

“A lot of black women, for once, felt recognized and they felt heard and they did really truly feel united,” Mitchell said. “So I think overall and here in Sacramento, I’m just getting this great response of sisterhood and that’s exactly what I wanted for this march”

Mitchell said she hopes BWU can help bring black women’s rights marches to other cities and emphasize the importance of their voices everywhere. 

“I would ask people to recognize that it’s our turn. We want you to understand our unique experience and respect our voice and that we want to use it,” she said. “I also invite those people if you’re undecided and you feel like you don’t know enough about something to get behind the black woman as well look for black women or women of color in your community that are leading get behind them, support them in the best way you can.”

Original Post

  Once again...the TIME for us to be PRESENT is now!  We have waited for many of our men to come forward and be the LEADERS in our community....well...not a lot have.  So...once again....we must STAND in our truth and be the ones to SAVE our people.  We must realize that many of our men?  Are just NOT ready.  They talk a good talk but in the end they succumb to massa by being his eunuch.  I see it every day as why black women have ALWAYS been the foot soldiers for their people.  If I'm wrong?  Where in the HELL is the million black men who protest in their march?  Where the hell are they?  Exactly!  But!

I'm getting real tired of pressing issues, particularly, issues that affect African America, and African American women being used to disguise the advocation that people see no difference between a woman and a trans-gender man/woman.

I keep reading articles, opt-eds, etc., that start off speaking on particular issues affecting Black people in America, African American women, African American Civil Rights, etc., only for it to end up being another covert attempt to socially condition people into seeing trans-genders that choose a feminine persona, and natural-born women, as one in the same.

I am on the side of the LGBT Community when it comes to their Civil Rights, Human Rights, Anti-Discrimination Rights, and Constitutional Rights.  But, WOMEN and Feminine Trans-Genders are two different things, two different "genders", period.

The same way that African Americans had to get together and decide that we would be called African Americans [and/or Black] instead of the term chosen for us, Negroe, Feminine Trans-Genders need to get together and decide on a name [other than Woman/Women/Girl] to call their gender, and stop APPROPRIATING [the noun] used to identify natural-born females, women, girls.  [The same for Masculine Trans-Genders where Man/Male/Boy is concerned].

I am all for LGBTs asserting themselves and their Constitutional and Civil and Human Rights, and their Right to be who they are, but not at the expense Women's identity; not by Sacrificing the Who and What Women are.  

 

People can do with their genitalia what they want, but I'm beyond old school. I have gay grandchildren and I love the hell out of them, but I mind my business and do not approve. It's their lives, and I have to accept that and do. All that pokin', proddin', lickin', wearing fucked up clothing is confusion to me and nothing else. None of my business and I know that and mind it. I wouldn't know what to do with a pair of tits in my face; had no desire ever in my life for someone built like me. N.O.P.E!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  I agree Sista Sunnubian.  And went off a few weeks ago when a transgender female referred to women as cisgender. We are WOMEN not cisgender.   I do not ACCEPT that title and NEVER will.  Again cuz we are WOMEN and will always be WOMEN.  And no piece of female made by "man" is gonna redefine who we are.  Cuz the bottom line is?  No matter how high the heels or vibrant the red lip stick....a transgender female will NEVER be a woman.  He will NEVER give birth...and will  never have the genetics that says XX in all areas of being biological female.  He will NEVER go through the natural physical stages of womanhood.  So.  He better go sit his ass down somewhere and shut te fock up.  Cuz I ain't playing.  And that goes for Rupaul's ass too.  Cuz he keeps referring to those "thangs" on his show as women...and they are NOT!  Plus I haven't seen NOT one of them [who claim they are women] protest for women's rights....so those mofos can miss me with their fake ass bullshyte.  I do believe however that many of em that have made this claim?  Have been molested as children.  Plus I know in other cultures/countries little boys are favored, taken away from their mothers at an early age and abused by patriarchal societies...for centuries...but this is not recognized.  However, the other two cultures that do not have this behavior traditionally in their environment are Africans and Amerindians.      But! 

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