FEMINIST FRIDAY: Centering The Stories Of Black Women During #BlackHistoryMonth This Year

‘She Did That’ documentary from Renae Bluitt | Netflix

Welcome to another edition of Feminist Friday! February is Black History Month and this week we are dedicating this column to sharing our fave films that highlight the importance of this month. There are certain issues in this country that disproportionately impact the black community and we want to remind readers of the powerful films and documentaries that highlight these.

The first video this week is the trailer for the new Netflix documentary ‘She Did That’, from Renae Bluitt, a NYC-based filmmaker and content creator whose film originally came about from her blog In Her Shoes.

“‘She Did That.’ explores the passionate pursuits of Black women and their entrepreneurship journeys…[it] offers an intimate peek inside the lives of Black women entrepreneurs who continuously raise the glass ceiling for future generations. There are approximately 1.9 million Black women-owned firms that employ over 376,500 staffers and generate $51.4 billion in total revenues. What drives Black women to turn their obstacles into opportunities and passions into profit? ‘She Did That.’ seeks to answer this question with the goal of inspiring the next generation of change agents. Spotlighting industry leaders through exclusive, never-seen-before footage, ‘She Did That.’ features vulnerable conversations with Luvvie Ajayi (New York Times best-selling author), Lisa Price (founder, Carol’s Daughter), Melissa Butler (founder, The Lip Bar), and Tonya Rapley (founder, My Fab Finance),” says the description of the film.

This is a timely film indeed because as the data shows, black women are the fastest growing group of entrepreneurs in America today, starting more businesses than any other demographic. Check out this snippet of #blackgirlmagic below:

The second film is ‘Death by Delivery’ from Fusion, released originally in 2018. The documentary, hosted by journalist Nelufar Hedayat, showcases why America has the highest rate of Maternal Mortality in the developed world, with rates of black women dying up to 4 times more than white women. There has been extensive research and reporting on this issue in the mainstream over the past couple of years from NPR, Pro Publica and more, but there is still a long way to go to fix the systemic racism and inequalities within our healthcare system.

The final video this week captures the energy and power that saw a record number of women, and specifically women of color and black women, run for office in the 2018 mid term elections, and WIN! We’ve seen the impact of ‘Knock Down The House’, which profiled Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s historic win, and ‘Surge’ from filmmakers Hannah Rosenzweig and Wendy Sachs looks into how the rise of women running for office is not just a moment, but a movement. Given we are in the thick of a presidential election year with numerous US Senate and state and local seats up for grabs, there has never been a better time to focus on how black women around the country are organizing, raising their voices, and standing up for their communities.

“Lauren Underwood, the youngest black woman to ever be elected to Congress is one of our three main characters. And each of our candidates in Texas, Indiana and Illinois were looking to flip their deep red districts to blue. The film is bookended by reflecting on the urgency of this time with a nod to women’s political history and the “1992 Year of the Woman” and then looks forward to the future,” says the description of the film.

The film also looks at how to create a pipeline of female candidates and the importance of not only women running but women supporting other women candidates. And ultimately SURGE examines what needs to be done to make sure the surge continues and that this isn’t another moment but a true movement. Watch the trailer below:

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