Women Around The World Shouldn’t Be Celebrated For One Day, But Everyday.

March 12, 2019 Flora Ekpe-Idang

 

Women and girls of color especially should be elevated for their continued contributions to society that at times goes ignored.

Black owned Tshirts

Photo credit: Flora Ekpe-Idang

In case you missed it March 8th was International Women’s Day and it was a day to celebrate how awesome women are. Brands highlighted their commitment to uplifting girls and women through various initiatives and organizations they support and there were communities that continued to push for the importance of intersectionality in the fight for equality both in the U.S. and abroad. Though there’s still a ways to go in true gender equality, I did appreciate the efforts from brands and people that are putting in work to help make that come true.

 

 

Often I feel that when the conversation of gender comes up the media tends to place it through the lens and experiences of middle to upper-class white women and at times we forget the stories of women of color, LGBTQ, disabled, different socioeconomic status, class, and religion communities. As our country continues to grow in multiculturalism, it’s important now more than ever to showcase in our everyday lives why representation matters. As a female of color who is also first gen, it hits home for me when I feel that women of color, especially Black women are excluded from narratives when it comes to gender discussions.

 

Black women who have contributed greatly to pop culture, sports, science, business, education, social justice, politics, and more are at times at the forefront of disruption in these type of spaces, but their voices get pushed to the back to make room for a more easily digestible Eurocentric look and feel. I’m in no way trying to diminish anyone who achieves something great in our society, but if we could at times take a step back and think, “by making this move are we excluding a voice that should be at the table and if so how do we get them involved now?”. If we each made a conscious move to address that statement, then maybe it could get us closer to the root of what intersectionality is all about.

 

That’s why last week while leading up to International Women’s Day, I made the conscious effort each weekday to wear an item from a Black-female owned business (do note: Hillman College Bookstore is owned by a Black male, but the show the sweater is based off was led with Black women so for the sake of this article we’ll run with it). Each article of clothing represented a powerful statement ranging from HBCU pride and self-worth to Black women running for office and how the fight is far from over.

 

With that said, I want to call out the amazing brands and the founders who created these shirts since it’s important to continue elevating the contributions of women who often go ignored and it lends an opportunity to learn more about brands you may not know. So check them out, make every day a reason to celebrate women, and continue pushing for intersectionality!

 

 

Brands I Rock With

 “Elect Black Women” Sweater by She Can Win. 

  • Fun Fact: She Can Win Shop’s proceeds go directly to the She Can Win Political Action Committee whose mission is to provide resources to Women of Color looking to run for office.

    Elect Black WomenPhoto credit: She Can Win

 “Young, Black, And Dope” Shirt by For Harriet 

  • Fun Fact: For Harriet is an online community dedicated to celebrating the fullness of Black womanhood.

Young Black DopePhoto credit: Instagram

“All My Life I Had To Fight” Shirt by Izzy & Liv

  • Fun Fact: This famous quote from Alice Walker’s book “The Color Purple” turned movie was famously said by Oprah Winfrey’s character Sofia as an iconic moment that symbolized the plight of the Black woman.  

  All My Life I Had To FightPhoto credit: Izzy & Liv                

 “The Epitome Of An Audacious Black Woman” Shirt by Forever Audacious

  • Fun Fact: The founder Kaylan Jones is based in my hometown of East Orange, NJ. Here’s to you EO!

Sojourner ShirtPhoto credit: Forever Audacious

“Hillman College” Shirt by The Hillman College Bookstore

  • Fun Fact: Created by Winston Robinson, Winston was inspired in part to attend an HBCU after growing up watching the 90s show “A Different World” which was about a fictional historically black school called Hillman College.

     

Hillman College SweaterPhoto credit: @MahoganyCurls

“Shiraz (Legacy Collection by Edwina)” Lipstick by Celfie Cosmetics

  • Fun Fact: Edwina Kulego, founder of Edwina Cosmetics was born and raised in Sweden by Ghanian parents and developed a line of nude lipsticks carrying the names of Liberia, Egypt, Ghana, Angola, Congo, and Yaounde – all inspired by and represent a destination in Africa.

  EdwinaPhoto credit: Edwina Kulego