I felt a little strange sitting in this panel, mostly because I’m not black. It almost felt as though I was encroaching upon someone else’s territory; as if I wasn’t privy because I hadn’t experienced the prejudice black women have felt tenfold over the years. That didn’t mean that I didn’t enjoy the experience, though, and felt extremely enlightened by attending. To hear different stories from different women of color about their feminist awakening was refreshing, empowering, and interesting. Each woman – a dancer, a teacher, a doctor/professor, and an actress – had a different story about how she came upon feminism, and why the color of her skin played a big role in it.
Some of the things that stuck out the most to me were the video we watched, directed by one of the panelists, as well as the presenting of the Ida B. Wells award to the cheerleaders who took a knee at the infamous Kennesaw football game. Here is a link to the video; I highly recommend watching it if you haven’t already. Not only is the message behind it beautiful, but the imagery is as well.
In terms of the cheerleaders who took a knee, I found myself getting extremely emotional when the award was presented to each of them. One of the professors of KSU (her name escapes me and I’m deeply sorry for that) gave an ode addressed to them, which she wrote herself, and it was absolutely beautiful to hear just how these five girls inspired and drew attention to an entire movement. Here’s a link to an article further describing the unrest and reciprocation of the kneeling – an incendiary reaction of all types that garnered national attention.
Despite me not being black, I identify as an intersectional feminist. I believe all women, no matter the color of their skin, their religion, their beliefs, deserves equality and recognition. I loved hearing stories from women of different backgrounds and careers coming together and exploring their own feminist narrative. If there is another panel similar to this one, searching through the same themes, I would enjoy attending it as well.