I am a woman. I am black. I can’t change the color of my skin anymore than I can change the fabric of my gender. I have so many complexities to who I am that I sometimes have to consistently remind myself of which battle I’m fighting today. With that being said, I’m addressing the post, Why I Will Not March for Eric Garner written by Kimberly Foster, founder of one of my favorite blogs “For Harriet”. I read each word of her post with pain in my heart. I was hurt that one of the women that I admired in regards to feminism was saying that she would cry tears and mourn for him, but that she would not give empathy to black men when it is not returned to black women.
I was sitting at my computer in tears reading this piece. I had to comment. I had to say something. I had to try to reach her with love and pleading in my heart. Would she read it? I don’t know. The comments had been amassed to 973 by the time I wanted to post (24 hours after posted), but still I posted. I couldn’t understand how we could ever deny the fact that all life matters and we should all fight for one another. We are a nation divided and how can we explain that to the younger generation? How can we not support or march for Eric Garner or any man that is tragically murdered in a questionable way?
So, I literally typed “I don’t agree with this. I understand your choice to choose battles, but as a human being, all life is valuable. I have one child. A son who is six. I can’t imagine losing him to foolishness (i.e. Eric Garner or Trayvon Martin) and I would never want another woman to tell me that she will cry for him, but won’t march for him (if he were killed senselessly) because black men aren’t there for black women. We are all one and I can never understand that. I birthed a king and I pray that through my educating him on Malcolm, Martin, Mahalia, Maya, Assata Shakur or the many other important black men and women in history that he will march for black women because his mother is black and he respects and supports the struggle for black women.” There. I had said it. I said what I felt was the truth. We are women. We are black. We matter.
I am the giver of life and I know how the death of this man has sparked a fire in our community once again, but we can’t continue to turn away from each other and stand divided. I have a son. I have to protect him. I am a woman. I am black, but more importantly I am a mother and I will always choose to march and protect the rights of everyone. If not me then who? I know that the author was just tired of the black men who may not defend us. I could hear the despair, but I have your back and so do a lot of other women. Hold my hand when you get tired, but we should never stop fighting or marching for one another because we are all God’s children.