“There is a kind of strength that is almost frightening in Black women. It’s as if a steel rod runs right through the head down to the feet,” said American poet and civil rights activist Maya Angelou.
It is only fitting, as we close out Black History month and move into Women’s History month, that we highlight the continued strength and resilience of Black women. Black women are playing significant roles in shaping the direction of emerging social movements and struggles for the rights of working people across the country. And even more, they are a growing force for change and influence in the country’s sharply divided electorate. In order for the labor movement, and the country as a whole to thrive, this force must be recognized and nurtured.
Donald Trump’s agenda is riddled with anti-labor policies. This agenda attacks the livelihood of millions of working people across the nation. From his push to make the National Labor Relations Board into a pro-corporate (and anti- worker) body, to his (and the GOP’s) continued advocacy for the so-called “right to work” law, it is clear that the labor movement will be on the defensive for the next four years.
It is also clear, from the percentages of the 2016 voter turnout, that a majority of Black women knew this, and other offensive policies, were likely to be enacted. Ninety-four percent of Black women who showed up to the polls voted for Hillary Clinton. Yet, Black women do more than vote; they are active in their unions, acting as a force of organizing and mobilization. Read more.