When I set out to watch “When Black Women Walk, Things Change” I’m not completely sure what I expected, but being moved to tears by the words of T. Morgan Dixon and Vanessa Garrison was definitely not what I was expecting.
I was inspired in a positive way
I was angered in a righteous way
And I was moved to tears by the sadness and the power of their words
T. Morgan Dixon and Vanessa Garrison founded a health nonprofit called GirlTrek (the Star Trek fan in me is geeking out at that name), a nonprofit dedicated to reduce the leading causes of preventable deaths among Black women and build communities by encouraging women and girls to prioritize self-care, lace up their shoes, and get walking.
The description of these incredible women about the traditions of their ancestors and the power of movement, physical movement, to bring about “total healing and transformation in our communities” resounded with strength and truth. Women moving, just next door to talk to their neighbor, to escape unjust and dangerous situations like slavery or domestic violence, to fight for equality, to bring our sisters with us. That is what brings change. That is what we need.
Their clear and decisive statement that no public health campaign is complete if it does not address the trauma that all women, and especially women of color, have lived with from the day they are born. The impact trauma has on our ability to move, to make decisions that lead to healing, and to pass health on to our daughters cannot be ignored anymore.
The assertion that self-care is a revolutionary act that will heal us all is something we need more of. As women, we need to care for ourselves before we can care for others. We are not doing anyone any favors if we care ourselves into an early grave.