Black Women Are “The Blade And The Balm” During COVID-19 And Ongoing State Violence

June 2, 2020  |  

Solidarity Protest Against Anti-black Violence In The US And EU, In Amsterdam

Source: NurPhoto / Getty

Before the recent uprisings began I saw a post that summed up how Black women operate in America and around the globe.

“Black women are—too often—both the blade and the balm,” written by social media user and prison reform activist, @TheFireNexTime.

The simple, yet profound statement struck me as it is packed with truth and lays out the government for how Black women conduct their lives on a daily basis. We heal and we encourage depth, we light the match to inspire.

Black women routinely show up for their families, their partners, and their communities, even if those same groups rarely show up for them.

We routinely see Black mother’s who have lost children to vigilante violence and police brutality rise up and call to action. Black women are on the front lines of essential workers in a pandemic, making sure you are clothed, fed and nursed back to health.

Black women place their lives, their bodies, and their livelihoods on the line for the betterment of our Black brothers. However, when it comes to the deaths of Black women and the Black trans community, the media, church groups, as well as political groups and organizations have often remained silent.

In the middle of a pandemic, where the majority of its victims belong to Black America, where Black people are still being killed for being Black, Black women have continued the emotional labor of educating, speaking truth to power, and urging us to avoid complacency as we fight for Black liberation.

Here are 11 examples of how Black women continue to lead and fight in the middle of two ongoing conflicts, COVID-19 and state-sanctioned violence.

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