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Herstory is Our Story!

By March 5, 2024No Comments

By Gwen McKinney

March is a moment of reflection giving homage and reverence to Women’s History Month. As we mark the 4th Anniversary of Unerased | Black Women Speak, let’s lift up our narrative, shine light on our history and celebrate the deeds of women warriors—herstory—past and present.

It began more than 400 years ago. Imagine the doom facing the African sisters, snatched from their homelands and forced to navigate that unforgiving Middle Passage to land on strange and pernicious shores. 

Despite the odds and adversities, they made their mark. Some rebelled, others inspired, but all survived. Shedding blood, tears and determination, our ancestors persevered and remarkably passed on to the next generations of daughters that indomitable spirit to resist and righteously find their place in the world. 

This, Black women, is our legacy, fused into our bones and channeled through the lens of the collective Herstory. It’s in our DNA to hold on, fight back, survive, thrive and soar!

We capture that theme in our March celebration of patriots and pathfinders, contemporaries and peers who, through their achievements, dared to Unerase herstory. Through digital tributes, we unfold Our Century Series—a video showcase of history makers for each decade over 100 years from 1920 – 2020. Though the 11 vignettes are singular spotlights—each woman’s profile is an exemplar for untold legions of Black women history makers. 

Some are 20th Century ancestors. Many are renowned. Others are hidden figures. All are remarkable change agents– aviators and scientists; inventors and political pioneers; artists and activists. 

From Shirley Anita Chisholm to Anita Faye Hill. From Diahann Carroll whose transformational “Julia” debunked our imagery as Mammies and Jezebels, to scholar Annette Gordon Reed, truth teller disgracing the revered Founding Fathers. From the teenager Claudette Austin Colvin who quietly refused to give up her seat on a Montgomery bus to aviator Brave Bessie Coleman who followed her dream to fly beyond the clouds. 

In different times and in myriad ways, they all soared beyond the clouds, They excelled in their respective fields and challenged Jim Crow, sexual harassment and a Black woman’s right to be seen heard and Unerased. 

Herstory is Ourstory. This month we affirm that Black women make history every day! And in the process of delivering our courageous, divine and transformative work, we make the world better for everyone.

Gwen McKinney is the creator and campaign director of Unerased | Black Women Speak.