Our country is at a crucial point in our collective history as communities across the nation engage in organizing, protesting, and confronting the systemic racism that plagues Black, Indigenous, and other communities of color in America.
The Black Lives Matter movement continues to lead the call for social justice by confronting the murder of Black men, women, and children by law enforcement and the dismantling of white supremacy in our culture.
Today, July 13th, is the 7 year anniversary of the Black Lives Matter movement.
Achieving Together Texas stands with and supports Black Lives Matter.
Social justice is a core value to the Achieving Together plan. Many HIV organizations across Texas have now publicly taken a stand against systemic racism and in support of Black Lives Matter. They have committed themselves to the fight to end White supremacy in our country.
As we work together to stand with Black, Indigenous, and other communities of color, we must also work to support those community members who are intersectionally marginalized in the fight for justice. These communities are often most vulnerable to being unrepresented in the broader movement for change.
As a group dedicated to addressing social justice, the Achieving Together community must continue to support and amplify the voices of Black women and Black LGBTQ communities to ensure that their issues and experiences are heard.
In her interview with Dissent Magazine, Marcia Chatelain, professor of history at Georgetown University, creator of the #FergusonSyllabus, and author of South Side Girls: Growing Up in the Great Migration, discussed the role of Black women and queer communities in the broader Black Lives Matter movement:
“I think any conversation about police brutality must include black women. Even if women are not the majority of the victims of homicide, the way they are profiled and targeted by police is incredibly gendered. There are now renewed conversations about how sexual violence and sexual intimidation are part of how Black women experience racist policing. You don’t have to dig deep to see how police brutality is a women’s issue—whether it’s the terrifying way that Oklahoma City police officer Daniel Holtzclaw preyed on black women in low-income sections of the city, or the murder of seven-year-old Aiyana Stanley-Jones inside her Detroit home. We know that girls and women of color are also dying.”
Combating violence against Black LGBTQ communities has always been a part of the Black Lives Matter movement. It is vital to continue to call out attacks on these communities, particularly the crisis of murders of Black transgender women. The HRC recorded 26 transgender murders in 2018 and 27 in 2019, the majority of who were Black transgender women.
This year, there have been 18 transgender women killed including the recent murder of Merci Mack, a 22 year old Black Transgender woman killed in Dallas.
In the article BLM Turns Inward to Ask About LGBTQ Bias, Ariel Hall writes that “Historically, LGBTQ+ members of the Black community have experienced ostracization, bullying, isolation and violence, according to studies. LGBTQ youth of color and transgender teenagers report the highest levels of rejection and isolation”
As a movement dedicated to ending HIV and fighting for social change, the Achieving Together community must continue to advocate for and support communities of color and challenge ourselves to elevate the voices and issues faced by Black women and Black LGBTQ people.
To learn more about racism as a public health crisis, we encourage you to watch Racism: The Ultimate Underlying Condition, and to participate in the rest of the American Public Health Association’s Advancing Racial Equity Series.
You can also watch the short video The Intersection of Black Lives Matter and Public Health: Moving from Conversation to Action in Addressing Health Disparities to see examples of the work being done in San Francisco to address racism through public health.