Mission & History
Black Women’s Blueprint envisions a world where women and girls of African descent are fully empowered and where gender, race and other disparities are erased.
We work to place Black women and girls’ lives as well as their particular struggles squarely within the context of the larger racial justice concerns of Black communities and are committed to building movements where gender matters in broader social justice organizing so that all members of our communities gain social, political and economic equity. We engage in progressive research, historical documentation, policy advocacy and organizing steeped in the struggles of Black women within their diverse communities and within dominant culture.
History of the Organization
We began meeting in sister circles in 2008 in living rooms, backyards and around kitchen tables, where we grappled with the state of Black women in the U.S. across ethnicity/nationality, class, sexual orientation, identity, etc. Our main focus was the 2008 Democratic Primaries. While we developed our personal, critical consciousness, parallel to this process was the political and public debate around the Obama/Clinton primary elections where Black women were being asked whether we were voting our race or our gender. Both democratic candidates presented their “blueprints” for change but neither took full stock of the particular problems Black women are facing within their communities and in greater society (gender-violence, poverty, the over-criminalization of black women and girls among others). What was manifesting itself was the cultural tendency to erase Black women by conceptualizing white women as speaking on behalf of the rights of the sex and Black men as speaking on behalf of the race. Something had to be done to unearth the intersections of race and gender in our own lives as Black women. Black women needed to offer their own voice, their own “blueprint” for change that equally reflected and benefited us, thus Black Women’s Blueprint was formed. What makes BWB unique is our specific focus on Black women and our departure from the rubric of “women of color” which we find also often supports racial hierarchies and doesn’t fully allow for Black women to deal with the ever-present history and legacy of slavery, sexual and reproductive exploitation, and subsequent periods of holocaust.