Author: Clarissa Smith, Greenhill School '21
If there was a diamond on the side of the road, how much would you think it’s worth? You can take that same diamond and put it in a jewelry store but has the value of the diamond changed? The answer is no because the value of a diamond comes from its karats, not its location. However, you would not expect to see a diamond on the side of the road so even if it were there, you wouldn’t think it was a diamond.
America sees our Black women as the side of the road. It thinks “there shouldn’t be any talent there, there shouldn’t be anything worthy coming from it” thus giving Black women a false sense of inferiority. Then one day someone famous comes strolling along and they take our diamonds, our talents, to the jewelry store. The jewelry store is how America views its white women. Even within America’s strong presence of misogyny, it still believes that if anything great came from a woman it had to be a white one. The jeweler represents how when America sees the diamond at the store, they put a price on it much higher than they would have if they saw it on the side of the road. Do you get where I’m going here?
Black women have been the creators of some of the greatest events in America, but their ideas are not heard until they are stripped from them and given to a more acceptable version of a woman. In an article titled “Black Women Built That” Amani Bethea writes, “In case you didn’t know, almost all social justice movements were and are carried on the backs of Black women. And yet, Black women have historically been erased or ignored in the history books. But when it comes to innovation, hard-work, and dedication in the fight for civil rights, Black women have always been at the forefront.”
The “Me Too” movement was started by a Black Woman named Tarana Burke. After learning of the horror of the Harvey Weinstein accusations, she started this movement to campaign for all women who had been terrorized by the misogyny of our nation. The overwhelming majority of his accusers were white, yet she could see herself in them and fight even though she wasn’t white. Where is this empathy when Black women are being mistreated? When Black trans women are killed in the street, when Black mothers are shot down, when teenage girls are slung around and beaten because of their skin color, where’s the backup? Black Women are constantly advocating for the rights of people other than their own, but no one advocates for them.
Black women need to be heard and cared for. As long as America looks at the oppression of others and fails to empathize and strive for change, we will never progress. All women must unite and champion for the causes of every race and every background. Only then, will America see that no matter where a diamond is, its value is priceless.
Image taken by Sheena Kwon at the 2020 Dallas Women's March