Top Moments in Feminism: 2015
It's no secret that 2015 was one of many “upsets”. From the lack of convictions and indictments revolving around the unfortunate killings of Black people to the initially comical but now quite alarming presidential campaign of Donald Trump, to the countless trill moments of our current POTUS who coyly discussed how folks wanted to “pop off” this year (and we agree, Prez!) there is one campaign of victory that, if it were to go unacknowledged, we would be unapologetically shamed by our peers and supporters. The moment we speak of is the triumph of Black feminism this year. We have definitely been WINNING all year long. To solidify this victory that will surely carry over into the New Year, BGF will disclose our hand selected, top 8 Black feminist moments of 2015.
Our first moment in feminism for the year 2015 goes to all ladies who believe their body is theirs! The #8 feminist moment of 2015 goes to Amber Rose and the Los Angeles Slut Walk. Unequivocal to its suspected purpose, the Slut Walk that occurred in October was a female empowerment observation designed to combat slut-shaming and give a voice to women.
Our #7 moment of feminism in 2015 goes out to those fighting for this country. Our salute goes out to our women soldiers who are finally able to fill ALL military combat roles. A heartfelt HOO-RAH to these leading ladies!
Hunger Games costar, Amandla Stenberg shows us that feminism isn't just for adults and comes in at #6 on our list. This 17 year old, who was honored by the Ms. Foundation for Women, has spoken on countless social issues from STEM education for girls, to the #BlackLiveMatter campaign. We can't wait to see how she addresses the issues of women in 2016.
Our #5 moment in feminism for the year 2015 goes to another young woman making greater strides than some men can even dream of. Malala Yousafzai, 18, is an activist and Nobel Peace Prize winner. Her documentary “He Named Me Malala” was released this year and showcased the work Yousafzai has been doing in order to spread of education amongst female populations and other social issues. A brave Malala Yousafzai also spoke boldly against the harsh anti-Muslim remarks of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. Get it Malala! (and yes, we know she's not Black, but she's staying on this list!)
#4 goes to AP Athlete of the Year and arguably one of the greatest athletes of all time-- I'm sure we don't have to say it but: Serena Williams. For at least the last decade, Serena Williams has proven that she is one of the most athletically gifted being this world has ever seen. A battle she consistently faces is that she is also a woman athlete; more specifically, a Black woman athlete. Serena has been taunted for her muscular build and aggressive appearance and not once bowed down to the unfounded criticism. This year, we saw Williams take an even bolder stance, as she began to be more vocal about the comments about her career and her appearance. Her appearances on red carpets worldwide just solidified why we love Serena: she's gorgeous and elegant. Werk!
Our #3 moment in feminism is for it girl Zendaya Coleman who took this year to step up and out for herself and other young women coming of age and falling in love with the woman they see in the mirror. Coleman has been under heavy scrutiny by gossip columnist and reporters who stereotyped her by appearance (we all remember the ragged dreadlock remark spewed against the young actress, I'm sure), as well as her unnecessarily retouched magazine cover image that photoshopped away the star’s natural beauty to give her a more “universally accepted” appearance. Zendaya did not hesitate to snap back with major clapback. The young feminist has gained so much support that she now has her own Barbie doll. Talk about coming up! She did just that!
In at #2 is Emmy-Award Winning Viola Davis. The actress, who won viewers hearts on several occasions throughout the year, capitalized on the admiration when she gave a heartwarming speech accepting the Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series (How To Get Away With Murder). In her speech, Davis eloquently expresses the oppression of Black actresses in Hollywood. She stated “In my dreams, I see a line. Over that line, I see green fields and lovely flowers and beautiful White women with their arms stretched out to me over that line, but I can't seem to get there no how, I can't seem to get over that line.” Davis goes on to say, amidst mentioning fellow Black female actresses who shared the nomination with her (Kerry Washington, Taraji P. Henson, etc) “The only thing separating Women of Color from anyone else is opportunity. You can not win an Emmy for roles that simply are not there.”
Black women have a tradition of standing at the forefront of movements for Black liberation. On June 27th, freedom fighter and youth organizer, Bree Newsome walked in the legacy of Ella Baker, Fannie Lou Hamer, Angela Davis, and countless Black women leaders in the movement. Newsome scaled a pole equipped with a climbing harness, to remove the flag from the grounds of the South Carolina state capitol following the Charleston Massacre. Her assertion "This flag comes down today" along with quotes of biblical scripture as she removed the symbol of white supremacy left as both awestruck and reverent to #BlackGirlMagic. With this act of strategic civil disobedience and solidarity with oppressed Black people across the globe, Bree easily takes the throne of Black feminism and our #1 spot.
Black Feminism won in 2015. We can only anticipate how Black Girls will continue to fly in 2016.
Hey yawl I’m Tyler Marie, or Ty as I’ve come to be called. I am a (West-Side) Chicagoan ‘til Chicago ends. I attended Whitney M. Young Magnet High School here in the city and went on to attend the first Private HBCU, Wilberforce University (OH) where I obtained my B.A. Sociology in 2012. It’s probably pretty clear now that writing is kind of ‘my thing’ but I’m more than okay with that. Other hobbies include eating, playing basketball, modeling and singing. Basically, I spend all my time trying to be as fly of a Black Girl as I can be. Connect with me via: Twitter/Instagram- @_Mighty5| Tumblr- iamjusttyler.tumblr.com