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LOUD Girl Snapshot: Amplifying voices for the voiceless

March 2018 proved to be the month that amplified the voices of Black women and girl activists; and LOUD Girl Movement is honoring their lives and efforts via this month’s LOUD Girl Snapshot.

Marielle Franco. Photo: Mídia NINJA/Flickr

Marielle Franco. Photo: Mídia NINJA/Flickr.

Marielle Franco, a Mother, human rights activist and Rio de Janeiro Councilmember, who was known for being an “indefatigable advocate,” and “voice for the voiceless,” was assassinated on March 14.

She once said, “We women are at the bottom of the pyramid, with the lowest wages, working twice as hard.” She followed through with action by making it a point to center poor women in her politics while fighting for income equity, and against police brutality and militarization in the favelas, and so much more. We will always celebrate her life and unwavering commitment to bettering humanity.

The March For Our Lives was a huge event for anti-gun violence activists and Black women and girls did not mince their words in getting their points across.

In a breakout speech, Naomi Wadler very eloquently let millions of people know she was marching for OUR lives by telling them to remember Black women and girls who have been killed by gun violence. Earlier this month following the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, her and her friend organized a walkout to protest gun violence at their elementary school. While students across the country arranged to walk out for 17 minutes in acknowledgement of the Parkland victims, Naomi decided to walkout for 18 minutes – adding one minute to also recognize and honor the life of Cortlin Arrington, a Black girl who was murdered with a gun in Alabama in early March.

Tiffany D. Loftin, the new National Director of Youth and College at the NAACP, also showed up strong in voice and spirit as she outlined three reasons that need to be considered and addressed in all conversations about gun violence. Click here to watch the video.

There is nothing like a reminder that the voice never dies than a statue honoring the rebel Queen Mary Thomas. The piece, created by Artists Jeannette Ehlers and La Vaughn Belle, is titled “I AM QUEEN MARY.” The statue will be revealed on Saturday at the Danish West Indian Warehouse in Copenhagen to memorialize Denmark’s colonial impact in the Caribbean and those who fought against it.

The artists – in all their wonderful creativity and Black Girl Magic – incorporated many aspects of the struggles of the people of the Diaspora: The sculpture is a hybrid of both artists’ bodies; the torch and cane bill in Queen Mary’s hands represent the resistance strategies used in the struggles for freedom; the seated pose recalls the iconic 1967 photograph of Black Panther Party Founder Huey P. Newton; and the plinth incorporates coral cut from the ocean by enslaved Africans gathered from ruins of the foundations of historic buildings on St. Croix.

These women and Naomi are really and truly representations of hope and empowerment. They are also the epitome of why we at LOUD Girl Movement encourage Black women and girls worldwide to Love Your LOUD. It doesn’t matter what others do to silence us, we must always speak truth to power knowing that our voices will not be silenced.

LOUD and All,

LaToya English

Editor | LOUD Girl Movement Blog

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