Read The Most Honest Responses About Feminism, Representation, & The Women’s March In D.C. From Black Women Who Attended

All photos and interview by Johnette Reed

Though many black women were conflicted about the way they felt about participating in the Women’s March due to the usual exclusion of black women from “mainstream” feminism, black women showed up anyway to make their voices heard.

BCB contributor, Johnette Reed, was there to march, snap these amazing photos, and ask other #BeyondClassicallyBeautiful women, including Janet Mock, why they came and if they feel black women were represented well at the march.  Read on…

 

Janet Mock, Writer, TV Host, and Transgender Advocate

“Well of course there needs to be a lot more of us right, but I think that’s what kind of happens when the nucleus of it in the beginning, the spark of the idea didn’t start from us. I think that they brought us in eventually and I think that’s why you see a lot of people here on the stage represented. I think that’s why the principles that they released that I actually helped write were progressive principles. For me it’s about holding them accountable to us and ensuring when we say solidarity and sisterhood that it truly means that it’s intersectional and that it goes beyond just ourselves. So I think it calls for us to step outside of ourselves to center one another just as much as we center ourselves. I think I’ve seen a lot of…well I think that’s just like a Black girl thing when you’re in a space and there is a little of you, you all gather together and you’re like I see you, you see me, you’re fly…you’re doing this work, thank you so much…so that’s been beautiful to have. But what I also love too is we’ve been leading this work for a long time, Black feminism hasn’t been something that has been as recognized outside, but I think we’re in a space now where intersectionality has become like this catch phrase and we have to ensure that when people say it they’re not just saying the right words, but they’re actually putting the actions behind it.” – Janet Mock

 

“I came out here because I wanted to make sure that my people are being represented. I can’t say Black women aren’t at the march if I’m not at the march myself. I live by the saying a divided house can’t stand. I feel like a lot of feminist are for White women’s rights and not Black women’s rights.” – Monae Thomas

 

“We’re out here today because I wanted my daughter to experience this kind of a march where people come together. There’s unity, there’s all different types of women out here and men so I want her to experience that because I think it’s important for her to see that we have to come together when we feel there is injustice. I like the unity.” – Asia and Zoey

“I came out here because I wanted to make sure that my people are being represented. I can’t say Black women aren’t at the march if I’m not at the march myself. I live by the saying a divided house can’t stand. I feel like a lot of feminist are for White women’s rights and not Black women’s rights.” – Monae Thomas

“I thought Hillary was going to win and I went to Obama’s in 2009. It was freezing outside and there were so many people we were all shoulder to shoulder and my girls were too young to come. Now there 15 and 16-years-old and I wanted them to see the first female get inaugurated into office because that was my first inauguration in 2009. Trump won, I couldn’t watch T.V. for about three or four days. I didn’t want to see a television. Since everything was paid for we came for his inauguration. When we came down we thought we were just going to walk into a protest. The people who were at his inauguration were saying things like “Go back where you came from.” I had never seen anything like that.” – Lila Chicago

“I am out here because I am a feminist and I am a Black feminist and Black women’s issues are women’s rights issues and women’s rights issues are human rights issues and we cannot forget our Black sisters and their Black families and our quest for equal rights for our trans Black sisters for our poor Black sisters for our Muslim Black sisters. I am out here representing Black women but also I’m out here for all women.” – Natalie Ferguson

“I live three blocks down the street and I saw everybody coming out and I honestly wasn’t going to come after yesterday and all the violence with the protest and then the pro-Trump supporters I just couldn’t emotionally. I didn’t think that I could handle it. I didn’t want to see a half aborted fetus shoved in my face right…when I’m here for something positive. But this morning my building was sort of the meeting point for a lot of the marchers today. A lot of people were gathering to make signs and have breakfast and it was so positive. And so I said I can walk the three blocks to stand with my sisters. So I’m here. I think that when White women get mad they will change America….ok. I’ll be honest, sometimes White women will fight for themselves and they don’t fight for all of us, but this time they’re fighting for all of us. And I am very grateful and glad to be here to be in solidarity.” – Lauren U Washington DC

“I’m out here for women’s rights…I’m out here for Black women and the fact that Black lives matter and the fact that women’s lives matter and I just felt like there was need to stand up and show out and be here for what I stand for.” – Patrice Donaldson

“I definitely know these women are not out here for me they’re not for my causes. They’re not for the unification of Black and African women. This is because they’re upset that a White man has told them to get back in their place. They’re not kumbayahing with African and Black women telling us that we stand for you. Whenever there is a protest of any kind involving Black people you might see two or three White people, but you have this mass conglomerate of White women screaming feminism, feminism, but it only works for them because they’re White women. Whereas Black and African women we’re out here for our children for ourselves not with this feminism movement that’s happening right now, but for ourselves we don’t see them here because of our problems of dealing with the fact that we’re poor and working class individuals. The fact that we don’t have a voice the fact that you see us as less than and you shoot down our children because you see us as less than and our children as less than but you’re not there but you’re here because he said grab them by the pussy.  No Thanks!” – Antoinette Taylor, Maryland

“I’m still very skeptical even being out here on the grounds now. I see majority White women out here and it’s interesting because a lot of White women voted for Donald Trump. I see the strength in numbers today I see old, young, Black, White I see different races, different colors out here I see men and women, but I’m interested to see how many people are still going to be fighting and motivated to continue this fight after today.” -Daysia Bryant Raleigh North Carolina

“I’m out here today because I knew a lot of people were going to be out here for abortion and all the fight back against Trump and everything sexual related. So they’re seeing the one-sided feminism and I wanted to bring out the multiple layers of feminism. So I’m out here with Blackgirl magic and showed pizzazz because there aren’t a lot of them out here so you gotta show it.” – Miranda Woods, Washington D.C.

 

“I believe in womanism as Alice Walker said….I don’t think we’re represented well at all. I came out here honestly to be nosy and to see exactly what it is you guys are fighting for because a lot of times they want our bodies here but they’re not willing to fight for our issues.” – Jacqueline Grant, Rocky Mount, North Carolina

 

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