Black History Month and Women’s History Month Are the Same Season to Me
I would like to take this moment to announce that I will continue waxing poetic about Black women even as Black History Month comes to a close.
As we head into Women’s History Month in March, I thought it would be nice to let everyone know that all of my content will remain more or less the same. As I have remained a woman in Black History Month, I will remain a Black person in Women’s History Month. I also expect to remain queer, for that matter.
In fact, since June is recognized as Pride Month in the U.S., and I am already talking about Black queer women here in February, I will just keep up with that for the entire first half of this year. Everybody cool with that?
All jokes aside, the more my writing has brought me to acknowledge and celebrate the historical legacy of queer Black women like myself, the more it strikes me how inseparable my identities are. I find myself wondering about the extent to which the multiplicity of identities is really understood on a cultural level.
As I have remained a woman in Black History Month, I will remain a Black person in Women’s History Month.
Intersectionality has been a big buzzword in the social justice sphere. A lot of people use the term “intersectional” when they want to describe their efforts to make something diverse or inclusive. But intersectionality is more nuanced than that.
Coined in 1989 by lawyer and civil rights advocate Kimberlé Crenshaw, “intersectional” was created to describe the very specific experiences of discrimination that Black women face as a result of the confluence of our race and gender. It is a term that has been used legally to identify discrimination against Black women that neither White women nor Black men face. We should never lose sight of the significance of intersectionality to Black women in particular who seek to describe the ways racism and sexism intersect in our lives.
Still, nothing brings intersectionality to the forefront of my mind quite like the distinct cultural transition from discussing Blackness to discussing womanhood that happens on March 1. It serves as a constant reminder that for those of us at the intersections, there is no beginning or end to our various identity markers. My Blackness bleeds into my queerness which bleeds into my womanhood and all are present, at all times, in their entirety.
We should never lose sight of the significance of intersectionality to Black women in particular.
So for me, there is no transition in tone or language when turning the calendar page. The theme and decorations don’t change. There is no shift in topic as we move from winter to spring.
Black History Month is about Black women. Women’s History Month is about Black women. And if you think Pride is not also about Black women, you don’t know much about the Stonewall riots that Pride commemorates. If you thought I was joking about that half a year thing…
I was. I’ll be talking about Black women all year round.
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