“Representing the National Council of Negro Women, I proudly joined with 12 Presidents of National African American Women’s organizations in writing an open letter to our sister, Senator Kamala Harris. Join us in standing in solidarity with Senator Kamala Harris.”
Johnnetta Betsch Cole, Ph. D.
To Our Dear Sister Kamala,
Well, Black-woman-to-Black-woman, it’s time we had “the talk.” Not the talk we must have with our children about the perils of being a person of color in America, but the talk Black women must have with each other and ourselves, especially when the days get tough. It is the talk that reminds us of who we are and how we are all connected as Black women. The talk to lift us up on the days when we are weary from being overlooked, underestimated, and minimized. After all, we know what you’ve been facing as the first Black female candidate for Vice President of these United States. Regardless of a political party and because we share a common belief in the goals for which you stand, as they say in the vernacular, “We Got Your Back!”
We are raising our collective, five million voices, to uplift and encourage you. The strength and power you represent put fear in some. When you are demeaned and disrespected, all African American women are demeaned and disrespected. We will not let this continue without a response.
To the rhetoric, “angry Black woman,” “monster,” and other derogatory epitaphs hurled at you, “We Got Your Back.” As any mother or sister-girlfriend would say to you and to those who would try to shut you down mentally, physically, and spiritually, ignore the chatter.
We know, and historians and archivists confirm it, the African woman is the mother of our modern civilization. For centuries, Black women have nursed and raised their babies along with the babies of others. Caring for them, encouraging them, feeding them with wonderful soulful food, using our strength to release and free others, and crying for too many lost children. It was a Black woman who was the human-computer that insured a man got to the moon. It was a Black woman, who by the strength of her will, would not be moved from her seat on a city bus and started a movement. It was a brave Black woman who took her own folding chair when she could not get a seat at any political party’s table and became the first woman to run for President of these United States. And it is Black women who have raised powerful children alone and become public advocates themselves when our men of the movement are murdered. Never forget that you come from strong resilient ancestry and you will not be defeated by lies and character assassination.
We, SistersUnited4Reform, speak out to demand these attacks stop.
Let your skills and experience be evident and never devalued as assets.
Let the power in your voice be heard and never minimized or silenced.
Let your presence be awesome but never flagrant.
Let your integrity be steadfast and never compromised.
Let your intelligence be respected and never denied.
Let your light continue to shine and never be dimmed by demagoguery, divisiveness, or delusion.
Remember… “We Got Your Back!”
Dr. Glenda Glover, International President, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated
Beverly E. Smith, National President and CEO, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated
Valerie Hollingsworth Baker, International President, Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated
Rasheeda Liberty, International President, Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Incorporated
Dr. Kimberly Jeffries Leonard, National President, The Links, Incorporated and The Links Foundation, Incorporated
Dr. Johnnetta Betsch Cole, Chair and President, National Council of Negro Women
Virginia Harris, National President, National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Incorporated
Kornisha McGill Brown, National President, Jack and Jill of America, Incorporated
Margaret Gaines Clark, National President, The Girl Friends®, Incorporated
Sharon J. Beard, National President, Top Ladies of Distinction, Incorporated
Melanie Campbell, President and CEO, Black Women’s Roundtable
Susan Taylor, Founder and CEO, National Cares Mentoring Movement
Gwainevere Catchings Hess, President, The Black Women’s Agenda, Inc.