Last weekend, two marches aiming to bring attention to racial injustices occurred in the nation’s capital–the March for Racial Justice and the March for Black Women. The two marches began at different starting points and then met at Lincoln Park before marching together to the Justice Department and the National Mall.
Organized by Farah Tanis, the executive director of Black Women’s Blueprint, the March for Black Women was organized to draw national attention to the widespread incarceration of Black women, the wage gap for women of color, and the sexual violence and murders of Black cis and transgender women. “It’s difficult getting the issues specific to Black women and girls centered within the racial-justice movement of this nation,” said Tanis. The march was sponsored by the Black Women’s Blueprint, Black Youth Project 100 and Trans Sisters of Color Project. Keynote speakers included Marissa Alexander, Gina Belafonte and Michaela angela Davis.
One of the biggest messages the March for Black Women aimed to send out was how issues that affect women, disproportionately affect black women. “50 to 60 percent of Black girls are sexually assaulted, but people have a hard time believing this even though they know historically, we have endured rape and have been forced to endure generations of rape,” said Tanis. Throughout the march, women linked arms in solidarity and chanted “Say her name” after speakers listed the names of black women who have been victims of violence.
Attendees also celebrated the 20th anniversary of the 1997 Million Woman March, which gathered 500,000 black women and men at the Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia to bring attention to the marginalization of black women.
Sources: Washington Post 9/28, The Root 9/28, The NYT 9/30