I as a black woman am incredibly disappointed with the fact that john Ridley the writer of 12 years a slave defence as to why his chosen not to include black women in the forefront of his new to show geurilla.
To completely deny the black woman the right to be acknowledged for their contributions to the British black power movement is to say that black women did not save the NHS when it was established in 1948. To top it of he chose an Asian women to be the lead woman he does a show on the black British power movement and has an Asian woman in the forefront loud and centre. This can not be condoned by anyone now I know Asian people played a huge role in the black panther party in the uk but they were not the leaders and shakers so to speak.
Actually should I be surprised that a black man in an interracial relationship with an Asian woman decided to defend his reasoning by talking on it instead of addressing the questions posed to him by two black women who were belittled purely because they directly addressed the issue of how come black women are essentially absent from the show. Despite the simple fact a lot of these movements whether in American or here in Britain would not have gotten as far as the year didn’t if was not for the pro activity of black women.
Lets dig a little deeper the British black panthers movement was originated in 1968 by Nigerian playwright Obi B.Egbuna. It went on to become the biggest and most influential black power group in the United Kingdom.
Althea jones lecointe took over the movement after obi was arrested and charged with conspiracy to murder police officers. Althea came from Trinidad and lived in London and studied biochemistry at the university of London. While Althea was in charge of the movement it became a more effective community organisation and produced a newspaper entitled Freedom news and also campaigned against police brutality and discrimination on employment, housing plus education. They also ran sessions to get black people to read books by radical authors.
Olive Morris who was born in st.catherine’s Jamaica, was a founding member of the organisation of women of Africa and Asian descent (OWAAD). Olive also established the Brixton Black women’s group and helped organise and set up the Manchester women’s mutual aid group. Olive sadly passed away at the age of 27 due to non-hodgkins lymphoma in 1979. Beverley Bryan was one of the last recruits to the black panthers and she was pinnical in teaching the children classss in maths, English and science along with a few others. Beverley is know a professor in Jamaica where she was born.
When you look back in history and see the contributions being made by black women for them to be erased is not acceptable we can not allow this to happen. Black women have been oppressed by far too long if it’s not bad enough this is happening due to white supremacy, misogyny and the microagressions thrown our way by racist white women. We now are told very publicly that our contributions mean nothing because a black man can write what he deems fit in order to fit a narrative remove black women entirely put a woman of colour in her place and that’s is why woman of colour or people of colour is a dangerous term.
While I encourage people to read up on Darcus Howe and his amazing contributions as all as the other men who were crucial to the movement. Do not ever ignore the black women who took part as leaders founders organisers because sometimes they did a lot more then they get credited for.
Without black women who will educate your children, raise your children love them wholeheartedly who will love you when you’re down, who will march for you when your shot to the ground who will hold your hand as we march side by side for the right to be free……
This blog post is dedicated to Mary seacole who without her contributions to the Crimean war a generation of black nurses behind her would have been uninspired. Dedicated to the Caribbean women who took part in the British adorned forces during World War Two showing us young black British women because of our heritage we can achieve anything. This is for the black nurses who saved the NHS from crumbling to its knees in the early days of its origin you fought hard despite the challenges you faced. This is for my African ancestors the women who gave their life’s some we could step forward……..
Written by Sistah Soul 💛🖤