Today, conversations about sexual violence and harassment towards women have infiltrated popular culture, the news and beyond. But despite the prevalence of sexual violence towards black girls and women, we remain almost invisible in these conversations.
You see, the legacy of sexual violence towards black women and our subsequent silencing runs deep. In her seminal text, Arn’t I a Woman: Female Slaves in the Plantation South, Deborah Gray White found that for a period of nearly 100 years after slaves were freed there wasn’t a single Southern white man convicted of raping or attempting to rape a black woman. It’s also pretty well known that black women aren’t just assailed by white men.
“It’s painful to watch black women not be included in the popular narrative,” Tarana Burke said. “It’s painful to see people preference the pain of other people over ours and not give any credence to the trauma, the layers of trauma that happen in our community, particularly around sexual violence.”
See the entire video above.