Syrup fave, “WAP” lyricist and continuous advocate for Black Lives Matter, Megan Thee Stallion has been a strong voice for Black women and against the racial injustice towards Black people. During her SNL debut performance, Stallion gave some of her time to Black activist Tamika Mallory and criticised Kentucky’s attorney general, Daniel Cameron for his “appalling conduct in denying Breonna Taylor and her family justice.” And now, she’s penned a powerfully-moving and informative essay in The New York Times about being a Black woman, and why you should care about Black women’s lives.
In the essay, Stallion, real name Megan Jovon Ruth Pete, comments on the current political climate and how despite people claiming they are showing up to end racial injustice towards Black people, not a lot of work has been done. According to the Human Rights Commission, in 2019, an alarming 91 percent of transgender and non-conforming people who were fatally shot, were Black. Due to a racial bias in healthcare, Black mothers are three times more likely to suffer from maternal mortality than White mothers. As we’ve said it before, facts are facts, in this society, it’s harder to be a Black person, and even harder to be a Black woman or Black trans woman.
In the lead up to the 2020 U.S. Presidential election, Stallion notes that the Democratic Party is, much like during the 2008 election with Former President of the United States Barack Obama, depending on Black American and Black women support to get elected. Despite, y’know, not actually showing up for Black Americans when they need them most and failing to defund the police and charge the officers behind the murders of Black people.
“We have gone from being unable to vote legally to a highly courted voting bloc—all in little more than a century,” Stallion wrote. “Despite this and despite the way so many have embraced messages about racial justice this year, Black women are still constantly disrespected and disregarded in so many areas of life.”
“We live in a country where we have the freedom to criticise elected officials,” she continued, preaching another fact that, sadly, still bears repeating. “And it’s ridiculous that some people think the simple phrase “Protect Black women” is controversial. We deserve to be protected as human beings. And we are entitled to our anger about a laundry list of mistreatment and neglect that we suffer.”
Then, the “Hot Girl Summer” artist lists a number of historic achievements by Black women, and Black women who were involved in key moments in history and social justice, who aren’t talked about in school.
NASA research mathematician Katherine Johnson, who figured out the mathematical paths for a spacecraft to orbit Earth and land on the moon in 1962, setting up the historic Moon landing in 1969. Alice H. Parker, the American Black inventor who designed the first home furnace, or Marie Van Brittan Brown, who invented the first home security system with her husband Albert Brown in 1966. Or, even, “six of the Little Rock Nine students whose bravery in 1957 led to school integration,” who were Black girls.
“I wish that every little Black girl was taught that Black Lives Matter was co-founded by Patrisse Cullors, Alicia Garza and Opal Tometi,” Megan Thee Stallion wrote.
Looking to the future, Stallion ends her essay with a hopeful but self-aware note: “Walking the path paved by such legends as Shirley Chisholm, Loretta Lynch, U.S. Representative Maxine Waters and the first Black woman to be elected to the U.S. Senate, Carol Moseley Braun, my hope is that Kamala Harris’s candidacy for vice president will usher in an era where Black women in 2020 are no longer “making history” for achieving things that should have been accomplished decades ago.”
“But that will take time, and Black women are not naïve,” she added. “We know that after the last ballot is cast and the vote is tallied, we are likely to go back to fighting for ourselves. Because at least for now, that’s all we have.”
You can read the full essay here.
Header image: Rich Fury (Getty Images).