Black Woman Practice Self Care To Survive Trump Presidency

Penn State student Zaniya Joe wears a piece of tape over her mouth that says "Black Lives Matter", as a group of Penn State University students protest in reaction to the events in Ferguson Tuesday, Dec. 2, 2014, in University Park, Pa. The students dressed in black and laid on the floor of the HUB building for 45 minutes many wearing signs that said "Black Lives Matter".  (AP Photo/Centre Daily Times, Nabil K. Mark)  MAGS OUT MANDATORY CREDIT

By The Root

Now that the shock has subsided from the election of Donald Trump as our next president, many of us are wondering what we do next and how his presidency will affect our daily lives.

From his Cabinet picks, it is clear Trump supports a racist, sexist, xenophobic, homophobic and transphobic agenda where corporate business interests will rule everything around us. The present moment feels unsafe not only for black communities, but explicitly for anyone who identifies as a person of color, a cis and trans woman, undocumented immigrant and/or LGBTQ.

Professors and “liberal” white, straight, cisgender male thought leaders tell us to shut up and stop dividing folks with our “identity politics; “meanwhile, Democratic leadership and media narratives are encouraging folks to “give Trump a chance” when our very existence is being threatened.

But really, what does this Trump presidency mean for our civil rights? With only two months until inauguration, social justice advocates have been processing how the incoming regime will affect their work and are looking ahead with vigilance. In need of some inspiration, I spoke with nine black women leaders at Race Forward’s Facing Race conference last month about what they are gearing up for in 2017.

Over 2000 racial justice advocates from around the country gathered in Atlanta for the biannual conference held only two days after the election. The critically timed event was a space to lament, strategize and unite across movements. And the women I spoke with emphasized the deep need for solidarity throughout all of our communities.

Even though the GOP’s violence-inciting rhetoric is frightening and dangerous, many acknowledged that it’s been their go-to strategy for years.

She also noted why black women’s voices are so essential right now.

“Black women sit at the intersection of so many social issues: police violence, environmental racism, attacks on reproductive healthcare access, pay inequity, immigration and more. Our realities can touch so many communities and we be can leaders, building bridges to fight back against oppression.”

In both plenary sessions and breakout sessions, there were strong calls to white people to be in allyship more concretely than ever. We are seeing this increase of young white people marching in the streets chanting “Not my president!” but what will these same folks do to help ensure the literal safety of our communities?

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