July 18, 2019

Stop Calling Black People "People of Color."

“As a black woman, I seek out inclusive spaces because I lack them in my everyday life. I don’t think I’ve ever unintentionally entered a space and immediately felt like I was a part of the majority. I remember when I joined my first women’s group. I went to one club meeting, and never returned. I felt like every issue these women were struggling with affected me more intensely because of my race. It wasn’t empowering, just depressing.

No one looked like me. I didn’t expect to be in a room filled with black women, but I also didn’t think I’d be the only one. And while the others went on about empowerment, sisterhood and freedom, I was met with, yet again, a feeling I knew only I could understand. In a room full of women discussing ways to be heard among men, ironically, I was grappling with how to do just that in the room we were in.

I should have known better when I saw the group advertised as “women of color-friendly.”

The terms “women of color” and “people of color” are meant to be inclusive. But, from my perspective, they only help to leave black people behind — specifically black women. While every minority group faces its own challenges in America, a “one size fits all” mentality toward diversity erases the specific needs of the most vulnerable communities.”

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