History is filled with stories of brave men fighting for our country and brilliant men creating advanced technology for humanity, but not as often do we hear of all the amazing things that women have done for this country, specifically black women. This Women's History Month we will bring those women into the spotlight.
From the very beginning, black women have been leaders and saviors for their communities. The stories of Harriet Tubman and Sojourner Truth are echoed across the nation, but one woman not discussed is Sarah Douglass. Born in 1802, she was a writer and abolitionist that co- founded anti-slavery organizations and provided writings for the Liberator and Anglo-African Magazine.
Her work and the different groups she played a large part in, such as the Philadelphia Female Anti-Slavery Society, was very inclusive to biracial individuals and even included work with white feminists which was not common at the time.
Being a black women does not just stop at the black. The intersectionality, which was a term created by Kimberlé Crenshaw in 1989 who is a black woman herself, of being a black woman in this country means she fought for her race and her sexuality and gender all at the same time. There was a time when white feminists would not even associate themselves with black women working towards the same goal solely based on the color of their skin.
Alice Walker is a great example of a black woman that touches on intersectionality and broke barriers when it came to feminism. In 1983 she coined the term “Womanism” in her work In Search of Our Mothers' Gardens: Womanist Prose. This term is geared towards black feminists or feminists of color who felt the lack of inclusion within the feminist movement for women of color. Womanism is not only about loving yourself as a woman for your sexuality and natural emotional sensitivity, but it is about embracing the color of your skin and while it is similar to feminism, it is not the same exact thing.
All three of these women have paved the way for women of every race today by writing ideas we still ponder over every day and creating terms women like me use often to describe what it has always been like to be a woman of color in America.
It is incredibly important to honor women everyday, not just during Women’s History Month. While doing so, we must remember that there are black women apart of that history that do not receive their flowers and it's up to us to keep the memory alive and to keep the flowers coming.