Civil rights icon Malcolm X once noted in 1962 that Black women are too often overlooked, disrespected and unprotected. And it’s a shame that much of that still rings true in 2019, but New Yorker Frederick Joseph is looking to do his part to support and uplift Black women as part of his latest project “To Black Women With Love” which launched on the first day of Women’s History Month.
The project boasts a series of videos from Black men to Black women, telling them how amazing they are and thanking Black women for their endless support, something that Joseph doesn’t think is done enough, although he wryly acknowledges that his project won’t necessarily fix the long-standing issue.
“I wanted to start this project because frankly, we don’t do enough to support or lift Black women. If I see a problem, I tend to do what I can to address it,” Joseph told ESSENCE. “This project won’t fix the issue, but I hope that it shows Black women that are Black men all around the world who love and appreciate them.”
Indeed, Joseph is one to jump right into an issue and do his part where he can. When Black Panther was scheduled to hit screens last year, he started a GoFundMe campaign to take Harlem kids to see the iconic movie. His campaign zipped passed its goal and he created the #BlackPantherChallenge, encouraging as many people from as many locations across the US to take children to see the powerful example of Black representation on the big screen.
More recently, this year he pounced on the issue again, this time with the highly anticipated Captain Marvel, working this time to specifically uplift girls.
In between it all he founded the organization We Have Stories, to support and create diverse initiatives, projects, diverse stories and storytelling.
And now he’s bringing it back home to Black women.
“It’s important that Black men show this kind of love for Black women because they deserve it, and do it for us. Also, if we don’t show appreciation and love for our own, how can we expect others to do so?” Joseph pointed out. “I want Black men and boys to see a model for how important it is for us to celebrate the women in our lives and around us. This concept is very simple but can help truly let Black women know we see them, and it’s important that our queens feel seen and loved.”
The project is a “love letter” to Black women and will be part of a year-long video submission campaign that Joseph hopes will encourage Black men across the world to truly take time to show their love.
So far, the website has up 20 videos from men that Joseph reached out to, but he is hoping that the project can grow to the point where any Black man who wants to get involved can send in their own “love letter.”
“I sought out Black men I personally know and other people with digital platforms who I know have a deep affinity for Black women and want to support them however they can,” he explained before adding. “I want any and every Black man to get involved and send us a video!”
After the campaign ends, Joseph hopes to put together a short film to highlight how much love there is for Black women.
“I’m hoping we get hundreds or thousands of submissions from all over the world. I want Black men everywhere to tell Black women how amazing they are and we are sorry we don’t do it often enough,” he said. “When it’s all said and done I want this project to help lead Black men to think that we should do this more often, outside of a project, just because. After the year is up, we plan on taking highlights of all the content we receive and putting together a short film.”