Our commitment to cultural heritage months continues to grow in 2021. From honoring ancestors, to challenging NC policies that threaten families, our collective is eager to share on a platform that promises to elevate stories that often go unheard. Looking back through our data, these heartfelt and sometimes heart-wrenching stories tend to be our most read (and most shared) stories throughout the year. We hope this will be the same during Black History Month.
As we prepare for the month, often filled with stories celebrating achievements by African Americans, we invite you to look at things differently in this historic moment. Our writers will be taking on topics ranging from the myth that Black women are unelectable to mental health tips for Black women. We will pen stories that honor our communities and some that seek to tear down barriers.
In one of our first stories, Constance Lov Johnson, a Public Administration Theorist, Political Publisher and the new President of the Black Legislative American Caucus (BLACPAC/ACTBLAC), talks about the frustration of being told Black women are unelectable in North Carolina. Constance writes, “The proof of Black American Women’s investments in our nation continues to grow substantially. We are Vice-President of the United States today and President in the coming years. As President, Vice President, and Legislators, Black women will improve the world’s economy.” She continued, “The investments are recorded for history to prove that we are knowledgeable of the laws, are politically strategic, and the most highly educated, earning the most graduate level degrees of all genders and races. It is a myth that Black women are unelectable. We are elected when our economies are strong, and we develop effective strategies, promote our campaigns with professionalism, and debate with boldness. The media will ignore us.” But Women AdvaNCe lends a voice.
I was gifted My Grandmother’s Hands: Racialized Trauma and Pathway to Mending Our Hearts and Bodies. Most of the book focuses on healing and personal body practice. But I recently arrived at the chapter titled Reaching Out to Other Bodies. It begins with this quote:
We never know how our small activities will affect others through the invisible fabric of our connectedness. ~Grace Lee Boggs
We are honored that so many Black, Indigenous and women of color have trusted us to share their stories. It also speaks to our connectedness with readers and supportive friends out there!
As a NC based journalist, I know there is a distrust between communities and media. Some real and perceived obstacles in publishing often keep Black women on the sidelines of the media world. Yet, times are changing! So, it’s even more impressive to know that last year we had more than 20 Black women collaborating with us in the collective, and this year includes three NEW voices.
We invite you to help us carry those stories as we wade through a sea of social media drama and disinformation, and if you have an opportunity please take a moment to like, share or share one of our writer’s stories.
Thank you for staying on this journey with us at Women AdvaNCe. For more Black History Month stories, visit our website Womenadvancenc.org and search for Black History Month.
Antionette Kerr is a co-director of Women AdvaNCe.
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