The recent airing of Black Girl’s Rock! on BET brought a litany of feelings to the surface. Not because of the title or the fact that I’m black (I prefer African American).
It’s the fact that we still need to create something in order to receive recognition. Black and brown women built this nation but in 2015 they’re criticized for having a program that is perceived to “alienate” other races.
Newsflash: This program would never have been accepted had we black and brown women received recognition for our works. There would be no need had we been recognized for our contributions to a nation that we have poured into.
A nation that was raised on the backs and breasts of black and brown women.
A nation that required us to open our legs to live: by giving life to our master’s children who were branded as cattle or staying alive by letting our master sow his most carnal urges in our womb.
A nation that required us to prick our hands picking rough cotton or stain them with the sticky paste from tobacco plants and the dye from dying the same cotton we picked.
A nation that forced us to run for our freedom following Harriet or waiting our turn to seek out Sojourner.
A nation that birthed Ida B. Wells Barnett. A female journalist and newspaper editor who used her newspaper for the civil rights movement, despite it being burned to the ground and threats on her life.
A nation that birthed Shirley Chisholm. A woman who prided herself on being “unbought and unbossed”, who became the first black woman elected to Congress and forged the way for female politicians across the country.
A nation that birthed Willie Barrow. A woman who stood tall in protests across our country.
A nation that birthed Fannie Lou Hamer. A woman who was called “the spirt of the Civil Rights movement.”
A nation that birthed Rosa Parks. A woman who was just too damn tired to give up her seat at the front of the bus. Her refusal was the catalyst for one of the biggest protest in American history.
A nation that birthed Billie Holiday. A woman that used her melodic voice to sing about the south’s “strange fruit” while bringing attention to the lynching of African-American men and women across the nation.
A nation that birthed Maya Angelou. A woman who used her prose and poetry to fight against the social injustices against everyone, everywhere.
A nation that birthed Angela Davis. A woman that has more fight than some men when she believes in a cause.
A nation that birthed Jackie Joyner-Kersee. A woman who is known for her dominance in women’s track and field, with numerous Olympic medals.
A nation that birthed Faye Wattleton. A nurse that became the first African American and youngest president of Planned Parenthood.
All of these minority women have paved the way for women like myself, Robin Kelly, Cathy Hughes, Ayanna Pressley, Ursula Brown and the younger generations who will be given an opportunity to touch their dreams because of the blood spilled from the women whose skin tone ranged from a golden raisin to the rich color of Texas gold.
So excuse me if once a year you’re offended and forced to hear that Black Girls Rock!
Truth be told, we rock every damn day of the year and the proof is all around you.
I’m just saying.