Protecting and uplifting Black women and girls is a sacred responsibility. Despite rampant intracommunity violence enacted against us, a carceral state that cages us and snatches our children away from us, police officers who kill us, a health care system that neglects and endangers us, and a Eurocentric culture that simultaneously mimics and mocks our beauty, we are still at the forefront of movements created not only to dismantle systems that harm us, but to imagine and create new worlds rooted in and committed to our liberation and freedom.
At ESSENCE, we take that sacred responsibility seriously. This is why, today, we begin rolling out a series of essays and op-eds from a collective of Black women movement and thought leaders creating new worlds for and in community with us.
Authors in this series include:
LaTosha Brown, visionary, social justice activist, co-anchor of the Southern Black Girls and Women’s Consortium, and co-founder of Black Voters Matter.
Read Brown’s piece, “Reimagining An America That Uplifts Black Girls.“
Tarana Burke, activist, veteran organizer, and founder of the ‘me too.’ Movement.
Read Burke’s piece, “Year 19: For Toyin And All The Black Girls Whose Lives Have Been Stolen.“
Kimberlé Crenshaw, co-founder of African American Policy Forum and creator of the #SayHerName campaign, civil rights advocate, and professor at the UCLA School of Law and Columbia Law School.
Read Crenshaw’s piece, “The Precarity Of Black Girls’ Lives.”
Ida Harris, essayist and editor.
Read Harris’s piece, “Black People Don’t Call 9-1-1.”
Bresha Meadows, Ohio teen who killed her abusive father, sparking the #FreeBresha campaign, who is now an activist and speaker.
Read Meadow’s piece, “Love, Bresha: Letters To My Younger Selves.“
Mariame Kaba, abolitionist, veteran organizer, educator and curator. Kaba is the founder and director of Project NIA, a grassroots organization with a vision to end youth incarceration. She has co-founded multiple organizations and projects, including the Chicago Freedom School, the Chicago Taskforce on Violence against Girls and Young Women, We Charge Genocide, and the Chicago Community Bond Fund.
Andrea Ritchie, Researcher in Residence on Race, Gender, Sexuality and Criminalization at the Barnard Center for Research on Women and author of Invisible No More: Police Violence Against Black Women and Women of Color.
Read Kaba’s and Ritchie’s piece, “We Want More Justice For Breonna Taylor Than The System That Killed Her Can Deliver.”
Now, as always, it is critical that we tell our stories and trust in the leadership and vision of Black women.