Last week, I was passing out flyers for the #BlackGirlsMatter Town Hall, an event held in Miami last Thursday by Power U Center for Social Change and our local allies. I handed a flyer to an older Black man who was shocked there was an event focused on Black girls and women.
“What about Black boys and men?” he began. “I know it must be hard being a Black woman, but Black men are going through it harder. The police are killing us and locking us up more than Black women and girls.
“We need to focus on the men.”
Breathe, I tried to remind myself.
As much as I wanted to challenge him, I chose instead to engage. He was certainly not the first person to respond to me this way. In fact, I hear similarly dismissive messages quite often when I try to talk about Black girls and women. Through defensive words, side-eyes, teeth sucking, and silence, I am told Black girls and women don’t matter. Or, at least, they don’t matter as much.