Although placed in the second tier on the hierarchy, Black women are the key individuals in the movement for change. Whether it be Black Lives Matter or the grassroots in Africa, women lead, empower, transform, and fight, within the very same movements they have created. The will to fight and march for change and progress would appear to be within each Black woman’s heart and soul as they are the ones seen either on the forefront of the revolution, or in the back helping the men we most often are fighting for.
Even after being ignored within the Black Lives Matter movement, our leadership roles and responsibilities often ignored by mainstream media in grassroots events, Black women keep pushing forth. In Nigeria, the #BringBackOurGirls hashtag was established by the same women suffering under the whims of the oppressive regime of Boko Haram. Federal Minister of Education, Obiageli Ezekwesili, kickstarted the hashtag which was later tweeted by Ibrahim M. Abdullahi, a lawyer in Nigeria. Given the racial bias of mainstream media outlets, the hashtag went ignored until key individuals in the West, began using it, extending their support. Even after the support was shown, the media reported very little on the gruesome events, still ongoing, cause by the terrorist group, Boko Haram. Grassroots women are the pioneers of change but in every instance, their efforts and successes, go unacknowledged.
With #BlackLivesMatter, most individuals are able to name at least six boys lost to police brutality/murder, but are unable to name more than one Black woman lost to the same battle, within the movement so created by Black women. Started by Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, and Opal Temeti, the BLM movement has thus since shifted its focus on the male side of things. In the same instance, Black women and their struggles are being pushed aside and wiped away. Meanwhile, Black women are still fighting the same battle for the men of BLM. Most recently in Beyoncé’s visual album Lemonade, she featured the mothers whose sons have been lost to police brutality. Within an album that is meant to focus on the struggles and pains that Black women experience and deal with specifically, the message that Black men are the only ones we need to rally for, was resounding.
Working in silence, Black women prove time and time again that the ignorance of the mass audience, is their driving force. Black women suffer the double edged sword of race and sexism, putting their exhaustion aside to deal with those doubled whips, as well as educate other individuals on what they suffer. Black women are the key to each and every revolution as they are both experienced in every facet of oppression and marginalization, as well as are willing and able to fight for the revolution they so began.