ZORA Call for Submissions: What Does It Mean to Be a ‘Strong Black Woman?’
Women’s History Month is a celebration of strong women through history. How do you exhibit strength in your life?
“Strong Black woman.” It’s a phrase that’s been used to describe our mothers, grandmothers, aunties, and elders, and it’s something every Black girl may feel she needs to grow up to be. As we celebrate Women’s History Month this March, we may find ourselves immersed in stories about women throughout history who fought.
But what does it actually mean to be “strong?”
Throughout history, Black women have exhibited strength in different ways. Through overcoming grief like Mamie Till Mobley, speaking truth to power like Fannie Lou Hamer, showing off her talents like Sarah Vaughan, or exuding confidence in every room she entered like Cicely Tyson.
Black women are not a monolith. And being a strong Black woman can mean different things.
As we spend the month celebrating strong Black women and their accomplishments throughout history, we want to carve out some space where we can celebrate ourselves and our own strength and survival in this world. Celebrating our strength doesn’t always mean celebrating our suffering and trauma. Sometimes, we’re at our most strong when we’re just being ourselves.
We want to know: What does it mean to be a “strong Black woman” today? Where do you draw your strength from? Is there strength to be found in moments of softness and vulnerability? Or do you think strength is shown when you’re fighting for what you believe in? Does time with your children, getting shit done on the job, or lavishing yourself in luxury make you feel the most strong? How are you breaking out of the stereotypes surrounding Black womanhood?
Publish on Medium about how you’re changing the definition of a “strong Black woman,” tag “ZORAWHM,” and email your story to firstname.lastname@example.org and we may feature your story on ZORA.
Happy Women’s History Month and happy writing!