Statement about the March for Black Women
A CALL TO MARCH FOR BLACK WOMEN
RALLY AND VIGIL FOR 1619
REPARATION FOR BLACK WOMEN’S FORCED SEXUAL AND REPRODUCTIVE LABOR
OCTOBER 5, 2019 6-9 pm
Reparations for Black women is the unfinished business of the Black Civil Rights movements of the U.S. and movements for Black human rights around the world. Reparations is the unfinished business of the 2012-2016 Black Women’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission on Sexual Assault. A movement for Reparations which foregrounds the centrality of women of African descent within racial justice concerns of all people of African descent is long overdue.
The call for Reparations must give special attention to the compounded discrimination faced by women and girls of African descent and requests the United States adopt and implement policies and program that provide them with effective remedy. The nation state should, in addition to remunerations, mainstream a gender perspective when designing and monitoring public policies and allocating federal or state funding, taking into account the specific needs and realities of women and girls of African descent, in the area of sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights, ensure adequate access to maternal health care and end the Black maternal mortality crisis.
The price to Black women in particular has been steep and comes in the form of increased intergenerational trauma, violence, maternal morbidity, poverty and generations of girls who continue to labor under conditions not too far removed from that of 1619 which sought to rob people of African descent of their dignity.
This October’s March for Black women, our rally and vigil in Washington, DC is for all the girls, the women, the sisters left in back alleys, in heaps on their bedroom or living room floors. It is for those left in building hallways, staircases, backroom parties, and basement garages. It is for those who didn’t make it, who didn’t survive and for those who live through us, who before 1619 have been waiting to speak, to testify of forced sexual and reproductive labor, to demand reparations now and to rally in the revolution. We stand with you.
We give ourselves permission to believe in the power of our demands and the strength of our convictions to take back what is already ours. We cannot allow an isolationist impulse to dictate our movement strategy given the political urgency of now. As various communities of Black women, we have always faced innumerable personal, and unspeakable brutalities. We cannot allow the travesties that have affirmed disregard for our existence to continue to flourish while we wither away with resentment and stew in our own rage. Continue to act to eradicate oppression whenever it shows up. This has been our inherited tradition for centuries, practiced in diverse ways around the world, in both peaceful protest and in righteous anger in the face of indignities and in the face of dehumanization.
We have work to do to create a just and sustainable future. We have work to do to fight for reparations and body sovereignty, to address the legacy of forced sexual and reproductive violations against women of African descent. This march is a rally cry against global femicide and the assault on women’s bodies across the gender spectrum, across religious identity, sexuality, class, and education.
October 5, 2019 Black Women’s Blueprint stands with the world’s women, marginalized women, trans women, women of the Global South who are everyday exclaiming #AmINext! We raise our collective voices in a resounding NO! And say, Hands off our bodies! and Reparations Now!