It’s no coincidence that two independent marches led by Black women focused on racial justice and gender issues united in one voice at the seat of federal government.
The Washington Post reports that The March for Racial Justice and the March for Black Women held separate rallies on Saturday that that converged on the National Mall.
Farah Tanis, an organizer of the March for Black Women, told The Post that the unification of voices was planned.
“That didn’t happen in the civil rights movement, or in the women’s rights movement,” Tanis stated. “It shows we are going in the right direction.”
The newspaper reported that the marchers, numbering at least 1,000 people, were diverse. But the emphasis was on Black female leadership.
“Let the Black women lead,” The Post said protesters shouted as they marched up Pennsylvania Avenue. “If you are not a Black woman, you should not be at the front.”
The March for Black Women focused on issues including domestic violence, the wage gap and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos rescinding Obama-era campus sex assault guidelines.
Meanwhile, the March for Racial Justice rallied against police brutality and urged the women to engage in grass roots activism—not just social media protest.
“We want to bring awareness to the country, specifically White America,” Dorcas Davis, co-founder of the march, told CNN. “In the US, things are still very segregated. They may not know other Americans are being affected and their rights are not being upheld.”
According to The Post, the two groups turned their backs and raised their fists when they marched past the Justice Department, in protest of Attorney General Jeff Sessions‘ plans to relaunch the war on drugs—which devastated Black families—and his federal oversight roll back of police departments that have a history of racially biased policing.