Dear friend,

Crazy Brave by Joy Harjo is one of my favorite books.  I re-read it last week.  In it, she describes her experience of growing up as a Native American girl in the 1950s.

She talks about the abuse that her mother and she suffered at the hands of men, the panic of being poor and alone with children. She also delights in her Muskogee culture and tradition. She's deeply moved by the beauty and perseverance of her community, the artistry of her friends, and the effort of her people to heal from generational trauma. 

Reading Harjo reminds me that we live in darkness and light. Our suffering shares a starring role with joy. 

In her poem, Anchorage, which she dedicated to Audre Lorde, Harjo writes:

"...And I think of the 6th Avenue jail, of mostly Native
and Black men, where Henry told about being shot at
eight times outside a liquor store in L.A., but when
the car sped away he was surprised he was alive,
no bullet holes, man, and eight cartridges strewn
on the sidewalk all around him.

Everyone laughed at the impossibility of it,
but also the truth. Because who would believe
the fantastic and terrible story of all of our survival
those who were never meant to survive?"

Me. I would.

Jocelyn

BlackHer Shero of the Week

Our BlackHer Shero of the week is Judith Browne Dianis, civil rights lawyer and executive director of the Advancement Project National Office

I caught up with her a few weeks back to learn how her organization is making it possible for 6M Americans with felony convictions to vote. 

Learn more.

Help Pay Their Fees and Fines

In 2018, 65 percent of Floridians helped pass Amendment 4 to restore the right to vote to 1.4M Floridians with felony convictions. It was the largest enfranchisement of Americans since the passage of the Voting Rights Act in 1965.

BUT soon thereafter, the Florida legislature enacted a new roadblock for returning citizens by requiring them to pay their fines and fees before being able to vote.

The Florida Rights Restoration Coalition built a fund to "help to return citizens with outstanding fines and fees complete their sentence and move forward with their lives".  Learn more and consider making a donation.  

BlackHer Fact

Women's incarceration in most U.S. states is higher than the total incarceration rate for women in other countries.  

Go to the Prison Policy Initiative to learn more about how many women are locked up in your state.

Hold the Line

There is no reason to believe that #DumpTrump will go quietly into the night, even if the election is a landslide for Democrats. There are several things he could (and very well may do) to stay in power. 

Hold the Line, is a helpful new guide by "an interracial, intergenerational group with experience in U.S. activism, organizing, and training (in the U.S. and abroad), as well as expertise in pro-democracy movements around the world." 

The authors help us to think through and plan for three eventualities.

- Election day results are unclear, and Trump declares victory anyway.  

- The election results show significant unexplained irregularities and/or signs of tampering, and Trump declares victory.  

- Trump loses the election but refuses to leave office.

Read and share it widely and determine how you will intervene post-election to save our democracy.

Rest in Power Ruth Bader Ginsburg

We said goodbye this week to Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who was a hero for human rights. 

Learn more about her life and legacy in this piece by Errin Haines in The 19th.

"Ginsburg was born in 1933, the same year Thurgood Marshall — who would become the first Black Supreme Court justice — graduated from Howard Law School. In much the same way that Marshall created the practice of civil rights law with the creation of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund in 1940, Ginsburg would invent the practice of women’s law, taking up the work of pioneering Black legal scholar Pauli Murray, who coined the phrase “Jane Crow” in describing the unequal treatment of women."

May she rest in power and peace.

Kudos to Regina King and Zendaya!

They won Emmys last night. This is Regina King's fourth Emmy and Zendaya's first.  Zendaya is also the youngest Emmy winner for lead actress in a drama.

Check them out in this article in Variety!

Need More Inspiration?

Brit Bennett's second novel The Vanishing Half was an instant #1 New York Times bestseller and is a contender for the National Book Award.

Check her out!

In love and solidarity,

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BlackHer was created by and for Black women. We are amplifying our leadership and educating and inspiring each other to act for progressive change.

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