Who Holds Space For Us – Upspoken

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Who Holds Space For Us


“Nobody’s free until everybody’s free.”

– Fannie Lou Hamer

Who holds space for us? Who embraces our vulnerability? Who fights for us? Who shares our sorrow and cradles us through it?






Black women are the builders of radical movements that push us to believe a different world is possible. These movements built out of pain provide hope in our darkest moments. And time and again they have pushed us forward when we thought we might not be able to take another step. From Sojourner Truth to Angela Davis to Patrisse Cullors, Black women have fought for the most marginalized among us and created the space to advance historic moments and movements for liberation.

It is from this history that I can speak with authority that Black women are born to lead. We come for the wombs of Queens, after all, endowing us with a ferocity that cannot be tamed. But, we are not invincible.

Behind the thick exterior of battle-tested armor made from the scars of centuries of violence committed against our bodies, we are vulnerable and bleed both emotionally and physically. We experience pain and sorrow from the cuts made by the blades of racism and sexism, and for our queer and trans sisters, homophobia and transphobia. We bear the wounds of violence and death coming at us from within and outside of our community. So, in this time when so many are declaring that Black Lives Matter, I ask again, who holds space for us?

This is a question that I cannot get out of my head and one that liberation will not allow to go unanswered. But I think about this not just in terms of today’s movement toward justice, but in the numerous smaller moments that shape our lives. The tears for Black people cried from our weary eyes have soaked the earth making it fertile ground to sow the seeds of justice. Yet, Black women’s silent pleas for relief from the violence exacted against our own bodies still remain invisible to all but those who care enough to look.

When tested, Black women have the strength of armies and because of that, we are treated as if we cannot break. But we can no longer be the sole keepers of our pain. We cannot be the only creators of the space we so desperately need to be vulnerable and free. When our strength is fading, we need others to carry us, just as we have carried them. That is what liberation requires. That is what liberation demands.

Black women, we are the soul of America. Without us, what progress we have and will make would be a dream

Power concedes nothing without a demand. And while the world has never willingly given us space to be free, we must not be afraid to claim our own because…

Until white men cede power to justice…

Until white women create space for Black women to be Black and women…

Until Black men go as hard in the paint as Black women go for them…

Until society deems the lives of ALL Black women valuable…

We will never be free to celebrate all our identities, and not just be tolerated as Black women but be fully loved.


  1. Jay Blount 30/06

    Powerful truthful message. Black women are the mothers of the earth. We deserve, demand our space. Thank you

  2. HouseofTanya 24/07

    Love this!