FEMINIST FRIDAY: ‘Grabbing Back’ Docu Follows 3 Trailblazing Black Women Running For Office

Welcome to another Feminist Friday, our weekly column where we make no bones about supporting feminist content, sharing 3 videos that are on our radar right now. This week, we’re all about politics and social issues, covering hard-hitting and important topics such as maternal mortality and child marriage. Both of these issues are affecting Americans, yet sadly there is not enough awareness, as a developed nation like ours should not be experiencing such high rates. More on that in just a moment.

First up, we’re showcasing an awesome documentary that we can’t wait to see get released to the masses! ‘Grabbing Back’ comes from the all-female director/producer team of Pamela French, Shareen Anderson and Wendy Missan. The film follows 3 trailblazing black women as they run for office in different parts of the US.

Tanzie Youngblood, a retired school teacher and widow, and Tamara Harris a former businesswoman with international finance experience are running in New Jersey, and Stephany Rose Spaulding who is running in Colorado District 5.

“Fed up with Trump’s presidency, black women across America are mobilizing to run for office and use their vote to change the course of our country! While they are a powerful force, we see that these formidable black women don’t necessarily have the support of the status quo Democratic Party. The film Grabbing Back will shine a light on these trailblazing African American candidates, what they are up against, and the galvanized voters who are getting off the sidelines to be heard, in the hopes of shifting the Trump trajectory and grabbing back the house in the 2018 midterm elections,” said a description of the film on the website.

With a record number of black women running for office, most notably in Alabama, this is a timely documentary. Having launched via a Kickstarter campaign which we highly recommend donating to while it is still running, we have no doubt ‘Grabbing Back’ is going to have the desired effect on voters in the lead-up to November mid-terms. Watch the trailer below:

The second video is a collaboration between Vox.com and Pro Publica, the latter of which has been doing some important investigatory research into America’s high maternal mortality rates. The US has the highest rates of maternal mortality in the developed world, where the rates of black women dying or experiencing complications are 3-4 times higher. Tennis champion Serena Williams has spoken publicly about her near-death experience shortly after childbirth, showing this is a problem that affects black women of all socio-economic levels.

There has been very little policy movement on this issue, especially in comparison to a number of other reproductive healthcare topics (most notably abortion and birth control legislation) which makes bringing awareness to the maternal mortality rates even more important.Let’s be clear, ONE mother dying from preventable causes in the childbirth process in America is too many and should not be happening.

Vox’s video brings light to the history of midwifery in the US, the role of black women specifically in this history and how it has evolved over time, and why there is a renewed call for midwives to be integrated into mainstream healthcare with research showing how it has a dramatic impact on the rates of maternal mortality. Could this be the start of important policy-related conversations about how to best tackle this issue? Watch the video below:

Our final video this week is a TEDx Talk from activist Fraidy Reiss, the founder of an organization called Unchained At Last. They are the only organization in the US working to end child and forced marriage, and being a former victim of child marriage herself, Fraidy’s voice has been so important in this largely hidden issue across the US. Their research has found nearly a quarter of a million victims of child marriage in the US between 2000-2010.

Forced and child marriage seem like problems that don’t exist in America, but in reality marriage under the age of 18 is legal in all 50 states. Fraidy Reiss is working to help women and girls close the legal loopholes around these marriages for good, and her protest efforts have seen some major success recently, with Delaware becoming the first state in the nation to ban child marriage outright.

This is a huge win for the fight to protect vulnerable populations from being exploited, especially in religious communities where a number of these types of unions become common, but it has been tempered by other states such as Kentucky, Tennessee, and New Jersey choosing to reject such bills in the guise of “religious freedom”. Thank God for women like Fraidy Reiss who are using their powerful voice to relentlessly affect change. Watch below, and share with everyone you know.


One Comment

  1. Pingback: FEMINIST FRIDAY: All The DOPE Women In Maroon 5's 'Girls Like You' Music Video - GirlTalkHQ

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