Post Episode 32 and MLK Day Reflection
On MLK Day, the call to honor Coretta Scott King is a must. She spent the rest of her life carrying on the legacy of The Movement, a movement of which she was an active participant, not just the wife of its most notable figure. I think of her often on this holiday, and about the sacrifices Black women made for the struggle. They were often the ones who thought up the strategies, the educational approaches, who stood on the front line to be hit, harassed and at times, murdered. It was the Ella Bakers and the Fannie Lou Hamers of the world who moved us forward. It was the Septima P. Clarks of the world who laid the foundation for our radical education. It was the Myrle Evars, Betty Shabazzs and Coretta Scott Kings that not only held their families, with young children together, but held space for a collective, Black America to grieve a loss they felt much more deeply than the rest of us. It is the domestic workers, the counselors, the healers, the sex workers, who have done the unsung work of the movement. It is misogynoir that keeps us from knowing many of their names. We see it play out today in who we mourn, in the lack of coverage of the death of Black women, ALL Black women, at the hands of the state. Black and non-white trans women are dying at alarmingly high rates, often for existing. Black women lose their lives at the hands of intimate violence, but also die by cop with little to no coverage when they do. It is Martin’s contemporary Malcolm X that stated “the most disrespected person in America is the Black woman, the most unprotected person in America is the Black woman, the most neglected person in America is the Black woman.” As a WOSO, I see it with our Black players, and as an American, I see it in the erasure of my heroes, most of whom are Black women and femmes, who have lived their radical beliefs. So today, and every day, this is a call to honor Coretta and the Black women she represents. Respect Black women, protect Black women, believe Black women. This is how we honor Coretta Scott King and Dr. King, on this, our national holiday.