Earlier this year, Joe Biden famously made an announcement during a Democratic debate. He promised Americans that his running mate would be a woman. Last week, to a nation weary from battling two deadly pandemics—coronavirus and systemic racism—Biden made history by announcing Senator Kamala Harris as his running mate, the first Black and South Asian woman VP candidate on a major party ticket in US history.
In the fight for civil rights in America, Black women have steadily led the way for centuries. Black women led the Underground Railroad, were the unsung leaders of the suffrage movement, organized freedom riders, paved the way for constitutional protections against sex discrimination and remain the most consistent voting block in the United States to stand up for the rights of marginalized people.
Black women are by no means a monolith, and yet as a group have a deep understanding of the relational nature of freedom, precisely because they sit at various intersections of targeted oppression. This means that for Black women, a conversation about maternal and child health must include a discussion about access to care and unconscious bias; a conversation about raising children must include a discussion about implicit dehumanization and police brutality; a conversation about education must include a discussion about adultification bias and the school to prison pipeline; and for Black women, a discussion about gender must include a discussion about equal pay and violence against Black trans women.