To Top

Why #SayHerName is Critical toward BLM

Somehow the outcries and pain of black women are mistaken for theatrics and drama. Their words are then filtered and unlikely to receive consideration. 

The historical patriarchy is partially to blame for the social status of black women. White men had rights first, then black men. Even when the movement for women’s rights sparked, black women were not considered during the planning.

Malcolm X’s words reign true decades later: the most unprotected, disrespected and neglected person in America is the black woman. 

Breonna Taylor, 26-year-old EMT, was murdered while she was asleep by three undercover cops who broke into the wrong apartment. A week later, the video of George Floyd’s murder, also by the hands of police, was released reigniting the Black Lives Matter movement. Although Floyd’s death is what predominantly drove the movement, Taylor’s had to be reminded of.

The only way justice was brought to Breonna and her grieving family was with the expulsion of one out of the three cops involved with her murder. By the blank incident report of her death, there was a clear pause in the effort to arrest those responsible.

From every angle, black women are hushed and belittled when they express their anger, but no one ever asks them what’s wrong. Rapper J Cole advised rapper Noname in his song that she should help black men “get up to speed” instead of denouncing their lack of action in the movement. 

The backlash Cole received not only resulted from his bad timing but reinforced the normalization of black women not being given proper attention. He fell short of recognizing that black women consistently use their knowledge to educate, uplift and bring awareness to grievances. Unfortunately, with the slightest hint of passion in their tone, they are ignored or silenced. 

Oluwatoyin Salau, 19 years old, was raped by two black men then murdered by one of them. When she tried to speak up, she was ignored. While fighting for her life and the lives of her brothers, she was violated. When our own men demonstrated their disregard for us, our point persists: no one cares about black women.

#SayHerName is for Breonna, Oluwatoyin and any other black woman whose life has been disregarded and voice quieted. They have their own list of deaths and kidnappings going unpublicized as frequently as they occur. We’ve had to create agency and support for ourselves. 

You cannot fight for black women while pardoning your friend’s sexual assault case. You cannot you love them while condoning negative messages toward them in the media. You cannot say “Protect Black Women” while failing to follow with action.

We will continue fighting for the lives of our black men, but when will everyone else fight for the lives of black women?

Featured Image by Life Matters on Pexels 

Free to use, no attribution required

1 Comment

  1. Avatar


    July 18, 2020 at 6:08 am

    Well said!! Thank you for speaking out for our black women. I am my sister’s keeper.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in Be Informed

  • The Meaning Behind #ChallengeAccepted

    Recently, a trend has surfaced on Instagram where women nominate one another privately to post a black and white picture of...

    Kalyn WomackAugust 11, 2020
  • Why Anti-feminism can be Fatal

    Recently, New Jersey Federal Judge Esther Salas and her family were attacked resulting in the loss of her son and injury...

    Kalyn WomackAugust 7, 2020
  • Elijah McClain: What to Know and What to Do

    Elijah McClain was a 23-year-old innocent black man killed by Colorado police. Recently, a peaceful protest and vigil in his honor...

    Kalyn WomackJuly 31, 2020
  • What does #FreeBritney Mean?

    Dedicated Britney Spears fans have been in fear of her safety during quarantine. They noticed her social media presence to be...

    Kalyn WomackJuly 23, 2020
  • How The Handmaid’s Tale Remains Relevant

    The Handmaid's Tale seems to reflect our world today. Is Atwood's novel entirely dystopian, or is she warning us?

    Lydia SchapiroJuly 23, 2020
  • 6 False Assumptions about Mental Illness

    There are various stigmas surrounding mental illness, and it is often difficult for affected individuals to feel appreciated. Learning about mental...

    Lydia SchapiroJuly 16, 2020
  • Black Girls: Forced to Grow Up too Soon

    The issue of hypersexualizaton is the fault of the black girl when she’s born. Her appearance and behavior is strictly monitored....

    Kalyn WomackJuly 15, 2020
  • Badass Black Women Owned Businesses to Support

    To further promote and endorse the black community, a great place to start is with black women. A few badass black...

    Kalyn WomackJuly 9, 2020
  • Almost Two Months Since Breonna Taylor’s Death

    26-year-old award-winning EMT Breonna Taylor was killed in her sleep by three undercover officers almost two months ago. Only one out...

    Kalyn WomackJuly 7, 2020
  • Unlearning White Feminism

    Black women have been historically excluded from every operation toward equality, including feminism. White feminism is the fight for women’s equality...

    Kalyn WomackJuly 3, 2020