This post was originally published on Michigan Chronicle
By Miss AJ Williams
As we celebrate Women’s History Month, it is crucial to recognize and honor the immense contributions that Black women have made to our society. Black women have played a vital role in shaping our country’s history, and yet their stories are often overlooked and undervalued. As a Black woman and managing editor of a newspaper, I believe that it is my responsibility to shed light on the achievements of Black women, particularly those from my hometown of Detroit, Michigan.
Detroit has a rich history of Black excellence and empowerment, and the women of Detroit have been at the forefront of many pivotal moments in our city’s history. From civil rights activists like Rosa Parks and Grace Lee Boggs, to trailblazers in the arts and entertainment industry like Aretha Franklin and Diana Ross, Detroit has produced countless Black women who have made an indelible impact on our society.
However, it is not just the well-known names that deserve recognition. Black women in Detroit, and across the country, have been instrumental in pushing for change and progress in their communities, often in the face of immense adversity. It is important that we honor these women and their stories, as their contributions have helped to shape our society and pave the way for future generations.
At the same time, it is important to acknowledge that the history of Black women in this country has been marked by systemic oppression and marginalization. Black women have faced discrimination, inequality, and violence in all areas of society, from the workplace to healthcare to the criminal justice system. This history of systemic racism and sexism has resulted in a lack of visibility and recognition for Black women and their achievements.
That is why it is essential that we prioritize diversity and inclusion in all aspects of society, from our history books to our workplaces. When we fail to recognize the contributions of Black women, we are not only doing them a disservice, but we are also perpetuating a harmful cycle of erasure and exclusion.
As a managing editor of a newspaper, I believe it is crucial that we make space for diverse voices and perspectives. It is not enough to simply acknowledge the achievements of Black women during Women’s History Month or other designated times of the year. We must commit to uplifting these stories and experiences year-round in order to build a more equitable and just society.
This means actively seeking out and publishing stories about Black women and their achievements, as well as ensuring that our newsroom and staff are diverse and inclusive. It also means acknowledging our own biases and actively working to overcome them, in order to ensure that we are not perpetuating the same harmful patterns of exclusion and erasure.
By honoring the achievements of Black women in history, we are not only acknowledging their contributions, but we are also building a more inclusive and just society. Black women have played a critical role in shaping our country’s history, and it is time that we give them the recognition and respect that they deserve.
As we celebrate Women’s History Month, let us make a commitment to uplifting the stories and experiences of Black women, particularly those from Detroit and other historically marginalized communities. Let us work towards a future where Black women are no longer overlooked or undervalued, but rather celebrated for their immense contributions to our society.