Every month I will highlight a Black artist, form of entertainment, business, or social media personality to help to spread awareness of Black Excellence. Be sure to check here on the 2nd of every month!
March is Women's History Month. It is a time of year in which we celebrate the achievements of women and their contributions to society at large, but unfortunately, Women's History Month like many other woman centered events, is severely whitewashed. It focuses far too much on the achievements of white women and ignores the work that women of color, especially Black women, do in society. So this month's spotlight will highlight six Black women who are, to put it colloquially, "doing the work". These six women use their platforms and their lives to better those of others, and it is important to recognize the work that they do.
The influence of black girl nerds and the collective with the same name have influenced the world for decades. We all saw Hidden Figures and how those women shaped NASA and influenced countless Black women in STEM fields, well Jamie Broadnax of BGN is another "hidden" figure who has shaped and influenced Black girl nerdom. BGN has given countless Black women the space and opportunity to post their thoughts, speak on issues, highlighted their interests, and more. With her blog, her podcasts, and her upcoming convention Jamie has shined a light on Black women and girls in fandoms, and shown that Black Girl Nerds do in fact exist.
I've seen Elle in action in person; it is a marvelous thing to behold. Known as Aurielle Marie, Elle is an artist, an activist, a student, and all around awesome. She uses her status as an organizer and a Black queer voice to, as she says, radically entertain and inform. Elle uses a new Youtube channel called Elle of Two Cities to speak to her audience and add to the content that creators, Black women creators especially, have been giving out on social media. Elle's videos and her status in the Movement for Black Lives makes her definitely a person you should watch for.
Kyemah McEntyre is a young artist and fashion designer who gained national attention when the pictured dress she created went viral. Since then Kyemah has been using her new fame to bring attention to the pervasive nature of Eurocentric beauty standards and show what it means to her to get in touch with her roots as a Black woman. Even now, Kyemah continues to create gowns for big name celebrities and continues to show that regardless of her age, she is able to connect with larger lessons and knowledge.
Janet Mock has been educating the masses on trans issues long before many of us even realized what trans was. Her book Redefining Realness explored her youth and put Janet even more in the national spotlight. Since then, she has done dozens if not hundreds of speaking engagements, written more, discussed various issues of race, sexuality, and gender, and even found the time to get married. Janet Mock is a strong example of a woman able to shape the world and gain happiness all while doing what is right for liberation.
I'm sure we all remember seeing Jacque Reid on BET Nightly News for umpteen years. Well, despite the regular news component of BET going belly up, Jacque has still been consistently working as a news anchor. Jacque Reid is important because for many of us, she was the voice of the news, and her continued work proves her dedication to reporting the news that matters most.
Wrapping up this spotlight is Congresswoman Maxine Waters. Now unless you have been living under a rock these past few months you know that Auntie Maxine is NOT seeing it for Agent Orange. Rep. Waters status as the most senior Black woman senator and the former chair of the Congressional Black Caucus gives her quite a bit of political clout, and the fact that she does nothing but speak on the horrors and dangers of Trump's presidency gives even more weight to the fact that that creature is a dangerous animal in office. Rep. Waters also gives a visible example of Black women constantly doing what no one else will. Just like how the exit polls show Black women en masse opposed Trump in the first place, it is a Black woman leading the charge to get rid of him. It is like it always is: Black women doing the work.