#BlackWomenDidThat — What Now?

It was Thursday night, July 28th, 2016. Hillary Rodham Clinton had just been nominated as the Democratic Party’s official Presidential candidate. Clinton referenced being a woman nominee, but did not mention the “first [B]lack woman to run for president of a major political party,” Shirley Chisholm nor other women who had run. Clinton used the words “systemic racism,” but did not #SayHerName or directly reference Ferguson, Mike Brown, or the queer-Black-women-led #BlackLivesMatter movement that forced for the current national conversation. So instead of just complaining, I started tweeting the names of Black women who had ran for president (Shirley Chisholm), vice president (Angela Davis), or who were currently running for president (Monica Moorehead).

the herstory of #BlackWomenDidThat

Within seconds my friend and fellow UC Berkeley alumnus Mylo Mu started replying to my tweets with the names of Black women he felt were important. After going back and forth, including women like my mom and mentors, Mylo suggested we come up with a hashtag like I had done with #MasculinitySoFragile. I crowdsourced for a hashtag, and after direct messaging with Mylo, we decided on the hashtag created by T'ChNigga P. Davis — #BlackWomenDidThat. We wanted to appreciate, commemorate, and thank all Black women who had impacted us in some way.

#BlackWomenDidThat became a veritable Black women’s history lesson.

On Thursday night #BlackWomenDidThat started trending and continued to trend throughout most of Friday. The hashtag has been now covered by CNN Money, Vox.com, USA Today, Mic.com, A Plus, Madame Noire, Uproxx, Bustle, attn, Revelist, Jet Mag, Paper Mag, Color Lines, Essence, NBC News, Buzzfeed, The Guardian, BET, Blavity, Mashable, Medium, Metro, Hip Hop Wired, The Root, Affinity Magazine, ForHarriet, MSN, The Grio, and Time (although some realtime revisionism had to be corrected). We’ve now created a hashtag. However, moving forward I have some questions I need your help with, particularly Black women who are open to sharing:

  1. How do you see us expanding #BlackWomenDidThat to educate folks on Black women’s history?
  2. How does #BlackWomenDidThat move from an easy-to-tweet hashtag toward concrete actions for Black women?
  3. How do we begin to better support Black women from the trauma of men like Daniel Holtzclaw and men who are “threatened” by Black trans women?

We started a hashtag, but it can’t end there. What do you want to see us do on twitter (@BlackWomenDidThat) and offline to show the world that #BlackWomenDidThat and we’re going to do a better job in our daily lives to recognize that? We’d love to hear from you. Email us and let us know!

If you have suggestions or want to work with us, email us at BlackWomenDidThat [at] gmail [dot] com.

Much love and gratitude,