Trigger Warning: This post is about my thoughts as a Black woman witnessing the protests against racial injustice in America.
I have not been completely focused in the past two weeks. My feelings have varied. Fear. Paranoia. Anxiety. Stress. Anger. Disappointment. Rage. Resentment. Unapologetic. Enlightened. Aware. Inspired. Hopeful. Optimistic.
I am frustrated that some people and organizations on social media have excluded Breonna Taylor from the conversation.
“We stand against racial injustice and the senseless killing of George Floyd and others whose lives were lost.”
– Several organizations
Breonna’s life mattered. She was a 26-year-old essential worker, a daughter, a sister, and a friend. She was like many of us.
Excluding Breonna Taylor from the conversation is excluding Black women from the conversation. There are stories of Black women and young Black girls who were sexually assaulted, missing and/or killed that are rarely publicized or go unnoticed.
When it is publicized, rarely is the same outrage and rapid mobilization for change compared to Black men.
Society has already taught us men are more valuable than women. This ideology has been perpetuated in the Black community for decades. The Black community has been taught to defend and protect Black men at all costs even when some of those men are abusive and degrade their female counterparts.
I am tired of the double standard. Black women are just as important as Black men. The protests taking place are about more than the killings of unarmed Black men. It is about the mistreatment of Black people since Africans were brought to the Americas against their will.
It is dangerous to exclude Breonna Taylor from both corporate and social messaging because it negates Black women’s existence.
However, there are many positive things that have come out of the recent protests. More Black women recognize their exclusion from the movement. Some of my female counterparts have chosen not to participate in the protests for that reason. More of my counterparts know the difference between pro-Black and pro-Black men.
I have never felt so much hope for the future of Black women until now. Breonna Taylor’s family expected to raise $500,000 in donations and has raised over $5 million in seven days. It gives me hope that more people know she mattered and will be remembered.
It is incredibly powerful.
If you are coping with the turmoil, take time to process your feelings before you post something online. Stay informed but give yourself a time limit of how much pandemic-related and protests-related news you consume.
Lastly, some of you may know the story of Emmett Till. I recommend you Google the name Recy Taylor. Her story is as important as Emmett’s.