Why it’s time for a Black Woman’s voice to be heard

Black woman talking
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Writing about a black woman’s voice first struck me a few year’s ago. I thought about myself and other black women in the western world; who are working hard, in different parts of society. We are ‘everywhere’ But I still struggle to hear and ‘see’ where our voices are being heard….

Media, magazines, fashion, women who are shown as business leaders, enterprising women – a white face is often shown first. So this had me asking for years, where is the black woman’s voice?

What do I mean?

Before I get to the ‘why’s, what do I mean by hearing a black woman’s voice? Are our opinions being heard by politicians? Do they consult with us in the same way they do with mainstream white women’s groups? Why did it take so long for high street retailers to sell make-up and hair products suited to black women? They have finally realised that us black women do care about how we look and will spend money! So when we move forward from there has a black woman’s voice influenced decisions made by governments, healthcare organisations, companies. It often seems like we have been forgotten as valuable members of society.

Why should our voices be heard?

Where should I start? Black women are making an equal contribution to society in the same way that white women do. We work just as hard and at times with cultural and financial limitations, we have to work harder. We are now managers, supervisors, business owners, community leaders and so much more. Yes black women are showing up every day to do what is required of us and more. We’ve earned the right to be heard and to have our voices taken seriously.

The barriers to hearing our voice

We know racism still exists. Whether it’s the job interviews where we’re not given a fair chance. Or the promotions that don’t happen because our ‘face doesn’t seem to fit’. We are still working hard to overcome these barriers. Despite the positive shifts we have seen in British society, our fight against racism continues. When we look at some of the circumstances some of us face, they also act as barriers to our ‘voice’. Holding down more than one job or finding it harder to make career changes often holds us back.

Beyonce running meme

A Black Woman’s Voice Campaign

 

When we look around we don’t see more of those that look like us in positions of power or as role models. This too can be a barrier. But before we even get to the physical barriers, we are also dealing with  emotional and mental barriers too. You know those mental barriers that tell us we were never going to achieve our goals. That wicked little voice that tells you “who do you think you are to want your own business?; or “you’re not good enough to apply for that job!”.

Yes sometimes we are our own barriers to being more and doing more in our lives. But recognising that these personal barriers exist is when we can break through them.

How can we make sure our voices are heard?

There is a need more than ever for us to speak up. We have to accept that some will never like us or want to hear us (no matter what we do). But their disapproval must not be a barrier for us anymore. I firmly believe that we owe it to our fore-parents and ancestors to use our voices individually, collaboratively and strategically as much as possible.

 

Has a black woman’s voice influenced decisions made by governments, healthcare organisations, companies. It often seems like we have been forgotten as valuable members of society.

 

When I think about our young black girls, we must use our voices to support them as they grow. When they come up against the challenges that we have faced, they must know there is a voice there to support and guide them.

Using every opportunity to use our voices

We must use our voices in every way possible. Whether this is through online campaigns, supporting our communities or how we work with others. Just how we stand in our jobs, building careers, raising children, being the back-bone of our families; a black woman’s voice must be heard in these ways. The time has definitely come for us black women, to use our voices and to be heard. 

While we use our voices, let’s not forget to help and support eachother along the way. Whether that’s to show online support, share good reviews and news with others or just to tell eachother – “keep on doing it girl, I got your back”.

When I think about our young black girls, we must use our voices to support them as they grow. When they come up against the challenges that we have faced, they must know there is a voice there to support and guide them.

 

A Black Woman’s Voice Campaign

For Black History Month, I’ll be sharing some of the most powerful black womens voices as part of my ‘A Black Woman’s Voice’ campaign. I just love this one below:

We may encounter many defeats but we must not be defeated

A Black Woman’s Voice Campaign

#Afrowomanonline  #Thrive&Strive  #Blackwomenrising