Celebrating women of color, one girl at a time
Last month, when The Onion magazine posted a tweet calling nine year old Quvenzhané Wallis the c-word, I tweeted a reply, “No Black girl is safe.” And that’s how I felt, and often do feel, even though it’s a bit bleak. But, let’s think about this: in addition to the ways that adult women are denigrated in society, it has become acceptable to make jokes about a (Black) girl. The safety of young girls from sexism is something that I became familiar with as a researcher/working with teenagers in Oakland, CA. Half of the youth activists I worked closely with in The Hip-Hop Generation Fights Back were young women, many of whom led the efforts.
This Women’s History Month, I think it’s important to turn our attention to young women, particularly young women of color. The Onion comment aside, young women of color are simultaneously heavily scrutinized and ignored. Take, for instance, the dual experience of some of the young Black and Latina women I worked with who were singled out for being presumed to be on the road to (teenage) pregnancy, so they were not taken seriously as students. Literally, one teacher commented that “I don’t really call on Latina or African American females. . . They’re gonna get pregnant and drop out anyways, so what’s the point?”
Read more: Celebrating women of color, one girl at a time.