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Black Women Speak

Debra Peek Haynes
Debra Peek Haynes

The title of this letter is inspired by a poem, “A Black Wom-an Speaks,” written by the late poet, activist, and actress, Beah Richards.

We are the descendants of women who breastfed the slave master’s babies, then the babies they nursed became their abusive masters.

We are the descendants of women who kept their fam-ilies together, even when our men were systematically taken away. This country was built on our backs. As the mother of mothers that have endured violence, sexism, racism and still, we have always been in the struggle for equality.

We must recognize White Supremacy is real. We must fight for the rights of our children and generations coming after us.

Our vote is our weapon. We can’t legislate anti-hate, but we can regulate it so that it won’t limit our rights to equality and equity. We must educate our high school seniors and college students about what they can do about it.

Overturning Roe vs. Wade, championed by mostly white men, is a smoke screen.

Taking away a women’s right to choose and at the same time upholding the right to carry concealed weapons, is not about life.

It’s about politicians paid by gun manufacturers, encouraging the birth of white babies and Black and Brown people being killed by police and hoping Black and Brown people kill each other as our communities suffer from trauma, poverty and lack of opportunity.

Since this country is being populated with more people of color, some frightened and greedy controlling people are restricting our rights just to remain in control.

Overturning Roe vs. Wade is a signal that other civil rights will be eroded if we don’t wakeup. If Roe is about the right of the unborn, why are Black and Native American women two or three times more likely to die in pregnancy than white women, according to the CDC? Isn’t a woman’s life important? If it is about life, why don’t all children have access to quality healthcare and food?

Civil rights are improved or restricted depending on who is in office. Roe vs. Wade and gun laws are all impacted by voting.

No one agrees with any politician all the time. Decide if the overall record and plan of the political candidate reflects justice and equity for us.

We must be more intentional in educating our children about their power to change the course of history through their collective vote. We cannot get caught up in hopelessness.

We must galvanize our people in the spirit of activists and educators like Fannie Lou Hamer, Ida B. Wells, Mary McLeod Bethune, Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm and so many more Black women that changed history.

I implore Black Women of conscious to:

  1. Educate ourselves and our children about local, state and federal elections
  2. Support politicians with a track record of supporting justice issues
  3. Encourage all people we connect with to VOTE
  4. Do not succumb to hopelessness
  5. Donate to candidates with a clear interest in equity for our community
  6. Understand we cannot be a one issue voter. Look at the totality of the issues each candidate represents and if they reflect justice for us. Lovingly, Debra Peek-Haynes Debra’s Healing Kitchen DHK Wellness Strategies, Inc.

Visit these sites for information about issues affecting our community: www.ncnw.org. https://actionnetwork.org/groups/sisters-lead-sisters-vote, www.ColorofChange.org, https://www.ncbcp.org, www.naacp.org.

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