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Arlington students commemorate International Women's Day

By staff |
March 11, 2016
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Arlington, TX - On March 8, Progressive Student Union at the University of Texas at Arlington held an event in observance of International Women's Day.

Jasmine Langley, a member of Progressive Student Union, spoke about the history of Black feminism and the struggles it faced both with white feminists, who sought to avoid the supposed divisiveness of combating racism, and against patriarchal attitudes from Black male revolutionaries. She explained that Black feminism as we know it truly began in 1973 with the creation of the short-lived National Black
Feminist Organization. She said, “This is where we get Assata Shakur, Bell Hooks, and so on."

Langley brought the subject around to contemporary activists and revolutionaries, including Alicia Garza, Opal Tometi and Patrisse Cullors from the Black Lives Matter movement . She mentioned in particular their inclusiveness of LGBTQA+ issues. Langley also spoke about Amandla Stenberg's use of social media as a platform to discuss these important issues. She pointed out that although the Black Lives Matter Movement is often portrayed as “Black men fighting in the streets for dead sons, but no mention of dead daughters,” that in reality many of the key founders of the movement were queer Black women. She pointed out the contrast between the media explosion over the deaths of Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice, and Michael Brown and the media's relative silence concerning the cases of Aiyana Stanley-Jones, Yvette Smith and Tamika Wilson.

After Langley's presentation, well-known Dallas activist Olinka Green held an informal dialog concerning the Black Lives Matter movement and its prospects. Green also cited some historical examples of female revolutionaries, including the Jamaican anti-slavery guerrilla called Nanny of the Maroons.

Green also talked about her own experiences as an activist as well as becoming an activist. She described joining the New Black Panther Party in her 20s, but said that at that time she was more concerned with working and providing for her family. She said that changed with the death of Trayvon Martin and the shock she felt at “how Zimmerman just got away with murdering this little kid, and how, each day, it seemed they're [the victims of police brutality] keep getting younger."

People left the presentation highly motivated and already talking about future projects as they left the room.