In a world of Beyonce, Michelle Obama and Shonda Rhimes, why are Black women still one of the most marginalized groups on the planet?
That’s the intriguing premise tackled by journalist Yvanna Saint-Fort in a recent article in The Daily Targum.
“In America, the black woman stands at the precipice of marginalization,” she writes. “Living in a white-dominated patriarchal society, she is seen as the antithesis of importance. Not only is she a minority, she belongs to the seemingly ‘lesser’ sex within the minority. Yet somehow, by strokes of strength and force, black women have historically found a way, or made one. When black men gained the right to vote with the passage of the 15th Amendment, black women were asked to wait their turn. In this instance, they may have done so, but never completely abandoning their fight for equality.
“Decades later, when white women lobbied for the right to vote, they asked their minority counterparts to once again sit down and wait their turn,” she continued. “Groups of white women felt incorporating black women into the fight would diminish their cause. Many white women went so far as to form their own meeting groups, barring black women from entering. Regardless, black women pressed forward and earned the right to vote along with white women with the passage of the 19th Amendment.”
In Sain-Fort’s eyes, Black women’s successes are seen somehow as a loss for Black men.
“Presently, black women enter and graduate college at higher rates than black men,” she writes. “But when the notion is discussed, it’s examined from the male perspective, questioning how and why we are losing our black men, rather than praising black women for braving some of the same societal pressures and struggles black men face. ”
She concludes with a call to action to Black women saying “we have to fight for ourselves because if we don’t, no one else will.”