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Marching with Black Women

It was difficult for me to decide to attend the Women’s March in my city, Chicago (Illinois, USA). Internalized sexism and racism made it difficult for me to feel like it could be an event for me, about me. I knew the only way it would work for me was to go with other Black women. So I organized a lunch with about twenty Black women friends the week before. We did a mini-session on how we were doing, personally, with all that is happening in our country. Then we talked about how to support each other in this time. One woman shared that she was volunteering for the Chicago Women’s March and that out of a hundred women being trained, there were just three Black women (she was one of them).

Not many of us were planning to go to the march. So I encouraged us to think about going together and picked a meeting place. Several of us met, and stayed together the entire time. We got to know each other better and get closer. (A few others were not able to find us in the crowds but said they were glad they came.)

There were not large numbers of Black women in the crowd of 250,000 (even though the city is nearly forty percent Black), so I think it was significant that a group of us Black women decided to go together. I think this was a good step for us in deciding that “women’s issues” are our issues, too. It was also significant that we decided we could spend time on our own liberation, instead of all of the other things that seem more important (work, family, and so on).

Alysia Tate

Chicago, Illinois USA

Reprinted from the RC e-mail discussion list for leaders of women

(Present Time 187, April 2017)

Last modified: 2020-07-17 20:50:52+00