Black Women Lives Matter – UH Panel Discussion

A few weeks ago I attended the Black Women Lives Matter event hosted by UH Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies and Friends of Women’s Studies. I attended because I was curious to know what women in the Houston area who are leaders and activists thought about the Black Lives movement. To me discussions are great as I stated when Soledad brought her Black In America tour to the University of Houston a few months ago. But what can we do besides just talk to help bring about change? 

Here’s what I took away from the discussion. 

Left to right [Shekira Dennis, Rachel Afi Quinn, Amanda K. Edwards, Cristal C. Truscott PhD, Tiffany Ross, Jalyn Gordon]

Left to right [Shekira Dennis, Rachel Afi Quinn, Amanda K. Edwards, Cristal C. Truscott PhD, Tiffany Ross, Jalyn Gordon]

Conversation is good but action steps are necessary to keep things moving forward. 

People, especially black people, are confused with their emotions. They don’t know what to do, say or think when we feel we’re constantly being attacked. We need to learn and have time to process everything that has happened to us just like the Jewish people were able to after the Holocaust. But we must have our pain acknowledge that it is real and it has affected generations of black Americans. 

Socialization vs activism with a hashtag are two completely different things. Socialization with a hashtag is where you can communicate and connect with those who feel what you feel. Activism with a hashtag is where you share steps and actions to bring about change. What is your role in chipping away at the problem of black people being under attack? 

Black women has always had violence done to us but it has been hidden even within our own community. Now the power of social media has made it easier for women to voice the wrongdoings and rally others to help amplify their voice.

Black women have been silenced in every realm of womanhood. By this I mean we are often left out of studies that affect women such as postpartum depression. When you look for stats about black women in mental health categories you will usually not find us there. Or if we are in a study it’s with other women. How can we help each other when we don’t know the problems we face because they are silenced?

No matter what your faith is, it is important to acknowledge it during your healing process. 

The #blackwomenlivesmatter hashtag is in addition to the #blacklivesmatter movement. It is not a contradiction nor opposition. It is another avenue to help share a collective voice of those who have been silenced living with their pain. 

You have to be willing to sit in the discomfort in order to create a safe space. Sometimes you may not agree with everyone who is on your side 100% of the time. However, that shouldn’t stop you from looking at the bigger picture and stay focused on the end goal.

Inclusion is different from diversity. Inclusion is having everyone a part of something. Diversity is allowing the differences in people to be highlighted, celebrated and used to better the cause. 

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The soul of a community is through a woman. So if we ignore and silence the women in our community what are we doing to the soul of our community? 

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