A few years ago, I applied to speak at a local TEDx event. We were required to send a proposal of what we would speak on along with an outline. As a Black Woman Founder, it’s been my personal life’s mission to make sure Black Women are seen, heard, and supported. It would be no different when it came to my Ted Talk.
In 1981, Marianna W. Davis published a two-volume publication titled, “Contributions of Black Women to America.” With a research team, an advisory board, and over two years dedicated to the project, it still wasn’t enough to adequately cover all the things Black Women have contributed to “make america great.” In her preface, she shares how she lacked the funds needed to complete this project, how she was unable to have dedicated researchers in every state, and went in-depth regarding some personal experiences that inspired the fire for her to even begin the project.
Davis’s project became a bible for me in the early stages of Buy From a Black Woman. Growing up, I knew about the “famous” Black Women we all learned about during Black History Month, but to read about Black Women who were purposely-- and I don’t use that word lightly-- omitted from school materials, it let me know what I already knew… this country would be nothing if it wasn’t for Black Women.
I mean, let’s start with Slavery. The country did.
Sojourner Truth, a former slave, was an advocate for abolition, civil and women’s rights. She wrote a book, led a lecture tour, and in 1851, Truth delivered her historical speech “Ain’t I a Woman?”.
In 1851, a Black Woman spoke out about all of the things that were wrong in this country.
What would have happened if America actually listened to Sojourner Truth?
Today, we witnessed history. A Black Woman was crowned US Vice President-elect. (I’ve elected to replace the words “named, presented or introducing," etc. with the word “crown” because Black Women deserved to wear crowns everywhere like the Queens they are. Black Women deserve to be celebrated.)
No matter your views or how you feel about her, you’re here because you believe in the importance of supporting Black Women. Living in a country where Black Women were forced into bondage, transported and sold, and bought as “property’, to now have a Black Woman who is sitting in the co-pilot’s seat when it comes to running it?
What will happen if American actually listens to Madam Vice- President-elect, Kamala Harris?
To be Black and a Woman is to be emotionally involved with any project you concern yourself with. A researcher, an advocate for abolition, a Vice President-elect.
In 1851, a Black Woman spoke out on all of the things that were wrong in this country. 170 years later in 2021, a Black Woman will be sworn in to help repair this country.
As you could guess, I was not invited to speak at the TEDx event. The feedback provided was, “This isn’t the type of talks we are looking for.” I wonder if they were looking for these types of talks around June of this year?
What would have happened if they made room for me to speak? What would have happened if they would have listened to me, a Black Woman?
What will happen when this country actually starts to listen to Black Women?
I can’t wait to find out.