How to sup­port Black women activists, cre­ators, and thinkers

4 minute read
Angela Davis and many other Black women activists need more support. (Photo via Wikimedia Commons.)
Angela Davis and many other Black women activists need more support. (Photo via Wikimedia Commons.)

This movement wouldn’t be happening if Black women weren’t contributing as much as they are. They’ve always been on the front lines (thanklessly so), supporting, advocating, and leading Black people through their fight for equal rights. With the murder of Oluwatoyin Salau, it’s time to wake up and be more supportive of Black women.

For this week’s roundup, I’ve curated an assortment of Black women-owned businesses in the area; a list of vocal activists, advocates, and leaders who have been preaching to us on social media, literature, and other outlets; and foundations that you can support directly to help Black women in America—especially given the Juneteenth holiday.

Organizations that support Black women

Black Women’s Health Imperative

This is the first nonprofit organization created by and for Black women to protect and advance the health and wellness of Black women of all ages. They’ve been at it for more than 35 years.

Black Women’s Blueprint

An organization dedicated to empowering women and girls of African descent through a Black feminist lens. They offer services, training, and more in hopes of building and establishing community.

By Us For Us

This collective is centered around pan-Black and pan-Asian cultural and political relationships through arts and organizations. It’s founded by and is for queer, femme, and nonbinary Black and East Asian artists.

Black Mamas Matter Alliance

Dedicated to advocating and empowering Black women with maternal health needs. Their vision: "a world where Black mamas have the rights, respect, and resources to thrive before, during, and after pregnancy.”

The Loveland Foundation

Founded by writer and activist Rachel Cargle (a must-follow on Instagram), the Loveland Foundation provides mental-health resources and access initiatives for Black women and girls.

Black Girls Code

To carve out more space and opportunities for Black girls in the digital space, this organization empowers girls of color from ages 7 to 17 to “become innovators in STEM fields, leaders in their communities, and builders of their own futures through exposure to computer science and technology.”

Books by Black women writers and thought leaders

Women, Race, and Class

Angela Davis has been especially vocal lately, but her work is rooted deep. This entry from 1980 focuses on the women’s movement going all the way back to the beginning of the abolitionist days to the time it was being written. Davis advocates for gender equity and critiques the one-sidedness of white feminism and the impact of class barriers. If you read anything this weekend, read this.

Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches

I’ve been seeing a lot of Audre Lorde quotes and references in my feeds lately. Now’s the time to dig deeper into those quotes for broader context and understanding with this book of essays and speeches. Lorde wrote about feminism, sexism, class, homophobia, and sexual identity.

Bad Feminist

I assume everyone has this book by Roxane Gay in their shelves, but if not, check it out. The collection of essays takes a thorough look at what it means to be a bad feminist—something that pervades American culture.

We Should All Be Feminists

Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie also challenges the concept of feminism in this 2014 book, redefining it for the sake of inclusion and awareness.

Local Black-women-owned shops in Philadelphia

YOWIE

Yowie is a home and lifestyle shop that curates small collections from independent artists and designers. The store lives in Queen Village, but it’s accepting online orders, too! The shop was founded by Shannon Maldonado, a Philly native who has been running the store for four years now.

The Sable Collective

Founded by Black women and WOC, this store came about to fill a need: “there were little to no retail spaces in Philadelphia where dope, unique products could be found that reflected the cultural references and experiences of Black women and WOC.”

Freedom Apothecary

Co-founders Morrisa Jenkins and Bonkoshi Horn, this holistic wellness space that promotes self-care, especially for Black women. Shop with them online now, because now is definitely the time for self-preservation through self-care.

Amalgam Comics & Coffeehouse

We’ve mentioned Amalgam many times, as they’ve become a staple in Philadelphia over the years. Founded by the “head nerd in charge” Ariell Johnson, the shop will celebrate its fifth year this winter. Amalgam is historic: it was the first Black-woman owned comic book store on the east coast. Get your read on with some fresh comics and graphic novels.

Franny Lou’s Porch

Inspired in name by civil rights activist Fannie Lou Hamer and 19th-century poet and abolitionist Frances E.W. Harper, Franny Lou’s Porch is a café and community space founded by Blew Kind. The shop offers online ordering for now.

Stream of the Week: Free Angela and All Political Prisoners

I’ve already mentioned Angela Davis once in this roundup, but I’m going to say her name again. This documentary chronicles the life of Davis when she was a young college professor, and how her social activism and advocacy landed her on the FBI’s Most Wanted list. Her storied fight deserves all the attention and study—and the film is available for free on Tubi and Vudu, and for rent on Amazon and YouTube.

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