The Westside Gazette Op-ed
On September 30, 2017, a coalition led by the Miami Workers Center and Black Girls Matter MIA made history with the Florida March for Black Women. Almost 1,000 Black women, girls, and their allies started a journey at an old women’s detention center, made our way through the streets of Over-town, and ended in Wynwood. The message was simple: prioritize the lives of Black women and girls.
Since that time, we have continued to build momentum to fight back at the intersections of race and gender. And now, we’re reclaiming our political power in this crucial electoral cycle and beyond.
On June 22-23rd in Miami, Florida, we plan to do what is rarely done. We will cultivate a space, specifically to address the political needs and power of Black women and girls, and develop a political platform by which we will hold candidates accountable.
“Here Comes the Boom: An Assembly for Black Women and Girls” is a conference planned by a dynamic coalition of organizations committed to developing leadership and political power for Black women and girls. A leadership that includes reproductive justice, freedom from state violence, pay equity, affordable housing, autonomy over our bodies, and representation in law-making arenas.
We can no longer afford to elect and re-elect politicians that have no proximity to our issues, while simultaneously creating political systems that keep Black women (and others) outside of the arena.
With the rise in the number of anti-woman state and federal attacks, it is incumbent upon us to build our collective power and take action. In the same stride as the Florida March for Black Women, we are actively and intentionally imagining, organizing, and building a coalition around political engagement and uplifting the power of Black women and girls.
As Florida Representative Patricia Williams said at the inaugural Black Girls Day at the Capitol, “enough is enough. We have been misled, mistreated, and misunderstood, but I stand tall because I stand on the ancestors that came before me.” Representative Kamia Brown continued by saying “We have proven that our voices matter, and our votes as well, as we’ve been the deciding population in several elections… Our political influence continues to grow; however, our needs continue to go ignored… It’s one thing for them to acknowledge African American women as the wheels of our political movement, but it’s also another thing when we put each other in the driver’s seat…” So let’s take control of the wheel and start driving.
From emancipation and abolition, to women’s suffrage, anti-lynching, radical journalism, Black power and Civil Rights, again, brick by brick, family by family, through centuries of making this look good despite the odds, we built this. And through our work at “Here Comes the Boom” and beyond, we will continue to right this country’s moral compass and bring equity for everyone.
Will you join us?