julianne malveaux

During this Women’s History Month, I write in the name of Maria Stewart, a sister who, in the early 19th century, spoke about women’s rights and supported the anti-slavery movement. She was the first American woman who spoke to a mixed audience of men and women (according to Wiki and other Internet sources) and the first African American woman to speak about women’s rights. She started her professional life as a maid, and ended it in Washington, D.C. as a teacher and a matron at Freedman’s Hospital. In the middle, she shook it up, earning both the respect and the ire of her colleagues.
If you stand on the shoulders of Maria Stewart, you are undergirded by this amazing feminist who took to the stage before the White Grimke sisters did. What price did she pay? How was she affected?
Even as we passionately support Black men we must, in the name of Maria Stewart, embrace and support Black women. We lift as we climb. Let’s lift us all!

“A proud Black feminist”

Julianne Malveaux,  NNPA Columnist

In a society that values winning above almost all else, young black women consistently receive the message that they should try to be less Serena-like when, in order to compete, that’s exactly who they should emulate. Play the game, black women are too often told. Go along to get along. Don’t rock the boat. Be demure. Don’t swivel your neck to react to slights; just put on your friendly face if you want to fit in. But Serena rocks the boat, and wins, and every time I see her prevail on the tennis court, I pray she motivates a young woman of color to prevail in every aspect of her life.