The Importance Of Intersectionality In Movement Making (The Vault)
"Categorize me, I defy every label"
Hi there, folks! I’m excited to dig up another essay and add it into the Vault today. This piece comes from one of my favorite classes I took during the *dreaded* pandemic era of my undergraduate education. This class, US Movements and Institutions, helped further cultivate my love of writing and research and really challenged me to examine the biases and privilege I’ve held onto.
My professor was also just an incredibly kind, patient man who was a joy to talk with. I particularly remember one kid who would go off on random, unhinged rants that had nothing to do with the material and I swear this professor was a saint in his calm responses as he tried to steer things back on track.
We were to examine a song or musical artist and provide a contextual analysis into a social issue. Just a really thought-provoking, creative assignment.
I chose Janelle Monáe and in particular her song, “Q.U.E.E.N.” It’s one of my favorite songs and I really enjoyed connecting it to the need for intersectionality in movement making. I hope you all enjoy this essay!
“Categorize me, I defy every label”
The Importance of Intersectionality and Movement Making
AMST-A201: US Movements and Institutions
5 May 2021
Black Lives Matter.
Black Stories Matter.
Black Trans Lives Matter.
Marching through the streets of Minneapolis, Bloomington, and beyond, these were just some of the phrases chanted by a sea of protestors. In the aftermath of George Floyd’s murder at the hands of the police, the Black Lives Matter movement took center stage as millions participated in Black liberation protests that demanded accountability towards the oppressive racist systems that poison the United States. Combatting racially motivated violence against Black people in the United States, these phrases incorporate a vital part of successful movement making: intersectionality.
Many Black people, though, still feel unwelcome in other spaces they could find unity in due to the communities being predominantly occupied by and amplified through a white lens. Exploring contemporary LGBTQ+ rights activism, the importance of intersectionality within these movements is often understated as Black people struggle to find their voices in these communities. The erasure of queer Black history and Black stories, abused white privilege of many LGBTQ+ community members, and outright white ignorance towards the rise of violence towards Black transgender women in the United States puts on full display the wide scope of this oppression in the country.