Show Up For Black Women Every Day. Not Just After Election Day.

While we celebrate the results of the Georgia special election, it's important to honor the contributions of Black women beyond that.

Show Up For Black Women Every Day. Not Just After Election Day.
Tom Williams / CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

The world watched eagerly as the results of Georgia’s special election rolled in to determine who would control the Senate. Efforts from organizations such as Fair Fight Action, New Georgia Project, and people like Stacey Abrams, Nse Ufot, and the many volunteers who did the legwork for years led to Rev. Raphael Warnock and John Ossoff winning their respective races. This was the cherry on top of the collective effort that lead the stage of Georgia turning blue in the general election. Black voter turnout grew despite the push for rampant voter suppression.

Afterward, there’s the onslaught of today is a good day to thank a Black woman” posts and a push to “put Stacey Abrams in charge of everything.” Even movie studios.  However, there’s a problem. Black women constantly show up and show out in a country that doesn’t value their contributions past elections. See, the reason why Black women organizers have been pushing so hard to change up the electorate is not to save America. It’s to save themselves in a country that has long forgotten about them. That in a week will go right back to the way things were. At budget meetings where managers decide to underpay them and make snide remarks about their hair.

If you chose to honor the voices and strength of Black women, it has to extend beyond the congratulatory pats on the back and celebratory revelations. Do you know that Black women are 3-4 times more likely to die from pregnancy complications than white women? That Black women make 63 cents for every dollar earned by white men? 54% of Black women are usually the only ones of their ethnicity at their companies. Black women enroll in colleges at a higher rate than men, the fastest rising group among women regarding entrepreneurship, but yet out of the record 37 women leading Fortune 500 companies, none are led by Black women.  Black trans women have a 26% unemployment rate and 41% have been homeless. Black women experience domestic violence at higher rates, including homicide and sexual violence. Just this year, 79% of the trans homicide victims were Black.

There you go - some things to work on. Show up in boardrooms, personal relationships (men and women), media portrayals, and side conversations. Be an active participant in remaking a generational culture that devalues Black women and commit to making a world where they don’t have to save themselves from. Making sure that when Black women speak, you listen and don’t speak over them. Give them the microphone instead of deeming yourself the self-righteous position of being a megaphone.

It’s not just about romanticizing the strength and intelligence of Black women when the outcome of their excellence is favorable to you. Not about wanting to make Stacey Abrams in charge of everything or giving her a Marvel movie. (weird). It’s about supporting Black women every single day and actively cultivate a world where they can be safe and enjoy life freely.  To make sure you are working towards a world where they don’t have to go through extraordinary lengths to ensure their survival.

So, when the dust settles from this special election - ask yourself, “how have I shown up for a Black woman today?” Then ask that every single day. Not just when the polls close.