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Posted under: Opinion Politics

Why It Was Important For Me, As A Black Woman, To Vote

"F**k it, I'll do it myself." Word to Charné Graham.

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For centuries Black women have been ignored. This has helped  fuel our spirit for defiance and resistance throughout centuries.

In the face of inequality, unfairness, and blatant disrespect, we have spoken up and taken action to demand our civil rights. From Rosa Parks choosing not to give up her seat on the bus to a white man in 1955, to Therese Patricia Okoumou climbing the base of the Statue of Liberty on “Independence Day” in protest of immigrant separation for their families in 2018, Black women worldwide have had no choice but to develop a “F**k it, I’ll do it myself” mentality.

A 2015 tweet by Charné Graham, later turned meme, became a disturbingly accurate reflection of the political lives of Black women.


Image: Tumblr

The meme consists of several history-making, table-shaking Black women who made powerful strides in the fight for civil rights, along with the words “F**k it, I’ll do it myself."

As a Black woman, my existence is resistance. Therefore, my vote is revolutionary.

Since the first slave ship arrived to the Jamestown, Virginia dock in 1619, somebody had already counted me, and millions of Black women out. Black women were counted out when they were separated from their babies. Black women were counted out when they were raped and never given apologies. Black women were even counted out when “all women” were given the right to vote.

Black women had to develop a “F**k it, I’ll do it myself” mentality. When it comes to doing for their families, for their children, for themselves, and even for the greater good of their country Black women have demonstrated that with their voting record. There isn’t much what Black women won’t do for their family. Hence, Democrat Doug Jones winning Alabama’s senatorial election last December over Roy Moore. According to The Hill, 98 percent of Black women voted for Jones, saving an entire state from itself.

From Harriet Tubman, who personally led over 300 slaves to freedom and managed to survive through it all to social activist and sexual violence survivor, Tarana Burkes who so boldly catapulted the #MeToo movement into the social media realm for the world to see, Black women have proven time after time, if nobody else is going to do it, they will. Although a hefty torch to carry, voting is simply light work compared to the seemingly immovable mountains my foremothers and fellow Black women have managed to move.

When the suffrage movement took place, Black women were mostly ignored. It was due to Black women, like Fannie Lou Hammer, that helped elevate the fight for Black women to have the right to vote. Voting is an act of resistance for me, but also an act of respect. It’s the least I can do for women who fought and died for me. What a powerful act of resistance, to fight for a right even if it means a matter of life or death.

I owe somebody.

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Maya is a News & Politics writer with Blavity, and alumna of Hampton University, who just wants justice for black folks. She's also a writing fellow with Center for Community Change. Follow her on Twitter & IG @MJBoddie.