Yesterday, I had the opportunity to attend a panel discussion about Black Feminist Activism in television and film. This discussion was extremely eye opening to me as a white woman, because I had the change to better understand the different struggles that black women face as a result of society.
One part of this discussion that really stuck with me was relating to a quote by author, Zora Neale Hurston. In her novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God, Hurston writes, “Black women are the mules of the world.” This quote allowed me to better understand how these women feel when looking at a hierarchy of our society. For whatever reason, Black women always stay at the bottom.
As a white female, it was hard for me to truly understand the different situation between myself and women of color until this discussion. I learned that the media constantly shows black women in only one way, forcing everyone to view all black women the same. Also, they seem to be overshadowed or forgotten in the news. Always being cast aside for a different story about a white person or even a black man.
This is a problem. I may not have the personal experience, but I have the knowledge of the issue, and the ability to do something about it. One of the speakers on the panel mentioned the importance of lifting up younger girls and serving as mentors for them. This way young, black girls can grow up seeing that their opportunities are just as endless as anyone else–even if the media does not want to show that.
Overall, I am very grateful for this eye-opening experience, and I will hold the knowledge and understanding that I gained close to myself and carry it with me as I continue to speak out and make this a better world for all people.