Disempowered in Black Power? Rethinking Black Women’s Contributions to Activists Movements

Aissata Bah ’20
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Bridget Tsemo
MLK Day, January 20, 2020

A quick Google search of the Black Panther Party overwhelmingly yields images of Black men, either with their fists in the air or a gun to their hand. The narratives we currently tell about Black Power are lacking in number and quality, relegating black women to supporting roles — or even no role at all. Aissata Bah, ’20, works to correct this with her CAMD Scholar research. By analyzing first-hand accounts of former Panther women, art pieces published in the Party’s newspapers, and other documents, Aissata’s presentation seeks to revolutionize contemporary narratives of the Black Panther Party, making them inclusive of the women who subverted the media’s hyper-masculine depiction of the Party.

Aissata will also discuss the media’s erasure of Black women from the narratives surrounding activist movements such as Black Lives Matter. How has society denied Black women of their status as leaders? What steps do we need to take to acknowledge the revolutionary roles of Black women within past and present liberation movements?

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