Tamika Mallory: 'There Is A State Of Emergency For Black Women'

The Women's March co-founder challenged Black women to keep each other as priorities even when the world drops the ball in this powerful address at the 2017 ESSENCE Festival.

Rachaell Davis Jul, 14, 2017

Dedicated civil rights activist and Women’s March co-founder Tamika Mallory lit the room on fire with her fearless words as she addressed the audience on the Empowerment Stage at the 2017 ESSENCE Festival.

Challenging the thousands of Black women in attendance to remain stedfast in using their voices to fight for what matters most to them, she delivered a message that invigorated everyone in the room.

“Ladies, make no mistake,” she said. “There is a state of emergency for Black women and we are fighting a battle that is silent. No one is talking about it. But even when they won’t talk about it, we have to. We need to be willing to raise hell about everything that matters to us. We have to prioritize us when the rest of the world will not.”

Take a listen to Tamika’s encouraging call to action in the video above.

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Ladies, make no mistake. There is a state of emergency for black women and we are fighting a battle that is silent. No one is talking about it. And even when they won't talk about it, we have to. We need to be willing to raise hell. About everything that matters to us. [APPLAUSE] We must raise hell for our own say. We have to prioritize us when the rest of the world will not. If no one is showing up for us, we must show up for ourselves just as we show up for every baby shower Every wedding, every engagement party, ladies free before 12. [LAUGH] The red bottom sale that I love so much, Chanel Tuesdays, and everything in between. And even here at the Essence Festival we fall in line whenever there is a celebration, even if it is a home going celebration. But we have to show up for the hard stuff too, show up in the same way that we showed up to support our President, Barack Obama. [APPLAUSE] We have to show up with the same energy that brought 94% of black women to the polls to vote for Hillary Clinton, whether we liked her or not. [APPLAUSE] We have to channel the same energy that brought millions of women out of their home for the March on Washington on January 21st. [APPLAUSE] I hear my women's march family over there somewhere. But all activism doesn't start and stop with voting and marching. No, that's not all that there is, and I am an expert protestor, so take it from me. Practicing self-care is a vital component of your activism. You cannot be your sister's keeper if you are in fact not kept.