When Erica Garner walked into ABC News’ Presidential Townhall on race on Thursday, she expected to be productive. She expected to be respected. She expected to be heard.
Instead, she told The Huffington Post that she was “silenced” when there was no mention of her father, Eric Garner, or their family. She said ABC producers ignored her questions for President Barack Obama, which she says she was promised she could ask. She walked off set yelling that the network used her for ratings. She was eventually able to speak with Obama, but she was livid that she had to get loud to have her voice heard. She tweeted about her disappointment.
“It’s a shame as black people that we have to yell and become belligerent to have our voices heard,” she told HuffPost.
What Garner faced Thursday night is something that black women face all of their lives.
Too often, black women’s voices aren’t heard. It becomes frustrating to the point where we feel like we have to speak louder and louder until we’re screaming to be heard. Even when we’re yelling, people don’t hear us. They throw the “angry black woman” stereotype in our faces and tell us to quiet down.
More and more black women are rejecting the label that we are “angry” and “loud,” however.
After hearing about Garner’s situation, Feminista Jones tweeted that she could relate. She said the routine silencing of black women ― by non-black people, black men and ourselves ― builds up into rage, understandably given how much oppression we face.
She tweeted the hashtag #LoudBlackGirls to highlight why silencing black women is dangerous. Jones also called for black women to reclaim the terms “loud,” “ghetto” and “ratchet” and share how they find their voices.
Other black women followed suit and spoke up. They used the hashtag to share why their voices matter and deliver some much needed receipts on how conversations that black women start are leading major movements. Their tweets were powerful, important and LOUD.
WE WILL NO LONGER BE SILENCED!