Black Women Demand Reparations and the Right to Live Free

Dr. Sheri Davis with the Center for Innovation in Worker Organization at Rutgers University School of Management and Labor Relations. She co-directs the program WILL Empower (Women Innovating Labor Leadership) and is a member of the Crunk Feminist Collective.
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BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) women leaders have for centuries been stitching our community stories into the US tapestry to correct the white-washed narrative and reveal this nation’s bloody history. Black women have labored to produce and reproduce generations of possibility and freedom dreams, while countering the nonsensical mythmaking of “truth, justice, and the American way.” Putting our bodies on the line, we consistently expose the exclusionary, delusional, and violent truths that white supremacy is the United States’ true religion, patriarchal state violence is the weapon used to beat/keep Black people in their place, and exploitative racialized capitalism is the system we live and labor under.

 

Make no mistake — this is an apartheid system undergirded by the latest in technology and weapons.

Black women hold all of this pain and suffering while organizing, mobilizing, building community, developing strategies, running campaigns, raising children, caring for elders, doing charity, starting organizations, running for office, having loving relationships, shopping, attending school, writing for our lives, and working (sometimes multiple) jobs while also managing the whims and harms of white co-workers and managers; storekeepers and bank managers; principals and superintendents; police and elected officials who do not see us as human worthy of care and concern. While this tells a story of white racism it does not begin to address the gendered interpersonal and intra-racial violence that cis-gendered Black men inflict on Black cisgender women/girls (Alisha Woodard) and transgender women/girls (Candace Towns, Iyanna Dior), and other Black cisgender men/boys and transgender men/boys often due to internalized racism.

Black women demand safety for ourselves and our families and communities from white racist violence in all its forms in our homes, communities, cars, public transit, commercial spaces, and workplaces in cities and states across this nation and the world.

Black women demand reparations and the redistribution of looted resources born of our creativity/sweat/reproductive labor and mined from our homelands.

Black women demand health, peace, and the right to live free.

This statement is written by Dr. Sheri Davis with the Center for Innovation in Worker Organization. She co-directs the program WILL Empower (Women Innovating Labor Leadership) and is a member of the Crunk Feminist Collective.
A native Atlantan and interdisciplinary scholar-activist, Davis completed her doctorate in American Studies at Emory University, holds a M.A. in Women’s Studies from The Ohio State University and a B.A. in Psychology and Political Science from Spelman College. She previously served as the Director for the Westside Communities Alliance in the Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts at Georgia Tech. Davis also worked as a Union Representative and Grievance and Arbitrations Coordinator with SEIU District 82, Justice for Janitors Campaign, and now serves on the board of the National Black Worker Centers and the Advisory Committee for the Advancing Black Strategist Initiative.