When we reflected on this year's Women's History Month (WHM) theme, "Celebrating Women Who Tell Our Stories," some names came to mind at a time when these women's voices are threatened to be silenced, like the great novelists Alice Walker, the late Maya Angelou, Toni Morrison, and Zora Neale Hurston. Adding to that list were the activists who came before us, like Ida B. Wells, Fannie Lou Hammer, and Marsha P. Johnson. But if we had to narrow down one group of women that should be celebrated for telling our stories, it is YOU--the Black Girls Smile community.
You tell our stories daily, expressing joy, sadness, frustration, and peace. We are grateful for your vulnerabilities to share your pain and resilience through the digital communities we created or when attending in-person events. You nurture our work when you speak out against the injustices you have faced and how they make you feel. You confidently tell the Black community’s story, even when you feel unseen and unheard.
This Women's History Month, we celebrate your voices. You tell our stories of oppression, invisibility, and fear. From inequities in pay and misrepresentation in the media to failures in the medical community and injustices in the criminal justice system–you shout it out loud. You have been labeled the leaders in our communities who show up and out. We know that this leadership often comes at the expense of your peace of mind and self care. You’ve carried the torch of being caregivers, all while continuing to show up for your fellow sisters when they are in despair with compassion and free of judgment. Therefore, as we celebrate your willingness to provide community care, we also encourage you to invest in yourself and your rest.
This WHM is for you to receive your accolades and flowers. We encourage you to continue to uplift your voices and help others to do the same. And remember, although we recognize Women's History this month, we make history EVERY MONTH.