To my sisters about to put in work: A writer’s thoughts on the Women’s March

I am sharing a short and informal essay I wrote about the Women’s March. It was published on rollingout.com. The link to the article is here: “To my sisters about to put in work: A writer’s thoughts on the Women’s March”

Here’s the essay:

A list of thoughts about the Women’s March …

1. Last night, I discussed the purpose of the Women’s March with my super feminist husband. Looking at images from marches around the world (one of my college friends even posted images of women gathered in Ghana), we talked through what led to the moment and the intended goal.

2. I said we want to let everyone know we see what’s going on. We understand the issues and we will not allow Trump or anyone else pull us back from how far we’ve come. We won’t be silenced. And we are ready to work. We put the world on notice.

3. Was that right? (Because I don’t want to speak for everyone.)

4. History is happening right now. Decide what you want your record to show.

5. I’m here.

6. I grew up in a household where my grandmother had Langston Hughes, James Baldwin and Toni Morrison on the bookshelves. She played Nina Simone and Billie Holiday on the record player in the living room. My father listened to Marvin Gaye and made me memorize the principles of Kwanzaa like I’d someday be tested on it. In the kitchen, my elders discussed Black politics and women’s rights as they cooked … and as we ate. They argued about these things (the women always won). About Ronald Reagan and police brutality. Decades before The 13th was produced, my grandmother, a former chief at Riker’s Island, taught me about the prison industrial complex and how drug charges were claiming the lives of Black men in prison. When I was a teenager, my father commented on my beautiful Black skin and how that made me special so many times I was annoyed. It broke my father’s heart when I permed my hair. He also commented about that so many times I was annoyed. When Mandela was released from prison, my grandmother drove me and my best friend to the big welcoming parade in Harlem so we could get a glimpse of him.

7. Most of us were built to be prepared for right now, to be clear about what’s going on.

8. And to do something about it.

9. What am I doing about it?

10. I’ve dedicated my career to writing about Black women and Black life. To tell our truth on the page.

11. I teach budding Black women writers to do the same. It’s my job. And I do it with honor and intention.

12. I need to do more.

(19)13. I need to pay my Delta Sigma Theta membership dues. Because. Maxine Waters.

14. I didn’t go to the Women’s March. Instead, I went to see Fences. Because. Viola Davis. (And it was raining. Don’t judge.)

15. I can’t wait to go to work tomorrow. Because. Spelman College.

16. What are you doing?

17. What can we do together?

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