If we allow our emotions to be led by the happenings of the past few months we would find ourselves in the holds of great despair. The mistake that is being made if we allow that to happen is that we have not taken full account of how awesome 2016 really was. There is one fact that we should take full notice of; 2016 was the year of the Black woman.
At the top of the list of succesful sisters are the founders of Black Lives Matter. In response to police shootings taking the lives of Black men, women and children, Black Lives Matter founders, Alicia Garza, Opel Tometi and Patrisse Coullors, spearheaded a movement that has heightened the awareness of injustice across the board this year.
Likewise, Tamar Manasseh grew tired of the constant killing in her Chicago neighborhood and created MASK (Mothers Against Senseless Kililing). Also known as Moms on Patrol, this group makes their presence known and helps to quell some of the violence. We spoke to Manasseh about the drive of Black Women.
“When has history ever given her an option of being anything other than — to put it as James Brown once did, ‘A bad mutha’ — ? We never had to rise to the occasion, because we were always present in it. We were never afforded the luxuries of the Victorian era woman, or the Southern Belle, the suffragette, or even the women’s libbers of the sixties. We already were self-sufficient and independent. We have never been just housewives or delicate flowers. We didn’t have to fight to have careers; we always had them. Who do you think cared for and raised the ones who would one day grow up and fight for their right to have one, while at the same time raising her own? Black women. I stepped up because no one else had, and I wasn’t going to wait for my turn as the mother on the front row [at my child’s funeral],” said Manasseh.
Documenting the journey is filmmaker Ava DuVernay, whose documentary 13th reveals the injustices committed against her people. It is unflinching and bold. Also, the film Hidden Figures shines a light on the Black women’s genius, while the film Fences shows the Black woman being the rock of her family.
Solange sang of freedom and frustrations on her chart-topping album.
First lady Michelle Obama stepped up and provided hope and strength in moments of disrespect. “When they go low we go high,” she said.
We honor the Black woman for her intelligence, beauty and fortitude. For sure, 2016 has been the year of the Black woman and our hope is that brothers step up and out to continue this cultural resurrection.