The first time I heard an excerpt of Malcom X’s “Who Taught You to Hate Yourself” speech was on Beyonce’s 2016 album Lemonade. An album that was very much for Black womxn and one that resonated with me deeply. As per Malcom X “The most disrespected woman in America, is the black woman. The most unprotected person in America is the Black woman. The most neglected person in America, is the black woman” .
We need to have a conversation about protecting Black womxn—this is a conversation that is not new. And many times forgotten.
That is why hearing that Breonna Taylor will not get the justice that she deserves, is not only disappointing, but hurtful and demeaning. The intersectionality of being Black and a womxn, make it that much more difficult for our voices to be heard. We seem to always be the protector and not the protected. Yet, I find myself disappointed in the justice system, yet again.
Black womxn matter. Not just when speaking out against anti-black racism and injustice, or when it’s time to hit the polls for voting, but all the time. Our worth is not simply found in our ability to enact change, but because we are people. Our worth is immeasurable. With experiences and nuances, with the most beautiful melanin skin and the most brilliant minds. The experiences of Black womxn and men are similar, but different, and deference must be given to those differences. We need to create space to speak about the issues affecting Black womxn, because they speak to an existence very unique to Black womxn. Protecting Black womxn is more than just saying that you listen and respect Black womxn, it is about actively unlearning the things that we have been taught that make us seek to diminish the shine of the Black womxn.
In a profession like law, Black womxn often feel like we must be cognizant of our hair choices (i.e. natural & protective styles v straight hair), the way our clothes fit because of our curves, the tones of our voices when speaking or addressing a statement, the way that our facial expression makes us “look”. These are not just conversations that need to be had at large, but ones within the Black community as well. The realities of Black womxn are far different from many others, and the way in which we navigate ourselves within these spaces can be exhausting and trivializing.
It is very important to support Black womxn in their endeavours and continue to uplift them, not just in bad times, but all the time. In doing so, we can foster positive spaces and support for Black womxn to thrive. Upliftment should not be a superficial action or one that is performative, but genuine. The same positive energy that Black womxn put out, is the one that we deserve to feel as well. Support is not limited to beliefs and recognition of Black womxn’s importance, it’s important to support Black womxn with kind words and sentiments, actions and encouragement.
Black womxn deserved to be protected and supported.
Black lives matter.
Black womxn matter.
 Malcolm X, “What Taught You to Hate Yourself?”, Genius Media Group.