Today’s blog begins a series of blogs that we hope will help educate other women across the country on the issue of social injustice within the black community.
The Mijas reached out to strong, powerful black women to ask a question that might not be so simple for some to understand.
What does Black Lives Matter mean to you?
Tamieka Henry is a 25 year old African American woman born and raised in El Paso, Texas. She proudly serves in the United States Army and is currently a graduate student pursuing her Master’s Degree in Health Care Administration. During her free time she enjoys traveling, powerlifting and spending time with her loved ones. She appreciates volunteering for various non-profit and community organizations throughout the city of El Paso. She presently serves as the President of El Paso Young Black Leaders, a community based organization designed to connect and engage El Paso’s young professionals in the black community through personal and professional development.
This is what Black Lives Matter means to Tamieka:
Black Lives Matter (BLM) is more than a hashtag or a slogan which appears trendy on the back of a t-shirt. Black Lives Matter represents awareness, education and empathy for racial inequalities black people face throughout the world. Due to the recent tragic death of George Floyd, the world has witnessed one of the largest civil rights movements to date. To me, Black Lives Matter highlights the importance of black women, children, men, black education, black femininity, black mental health, black music, black art and black beauty. Next time you come across Black Lives Matter, please understand it does not mean other lives are less important. Black lives are in danger and it is going to take the help from all communities to spread awareness and be a part of the change.
We have seen several videos and photos from protests around the world raising awareness on the public health issue of racism. These protests have led to arrests, major corporate awareness nationwide, and new laws being passed. As an El Pasoan, I have been guilty of stating, “Oh this is El Paso. Things like that don’t happen here”. However, when the protests began to happen here in the Sun City, I was in complete shock. The Black community in El Paso is rather small which is why I was extremely emotional due to the support from the Latino community.
Watching videos online from friends I grew up with and other El Pasoans protest, brought tears to my eyes. I was passionate, and honored to see my city come together and join black people in our fight against systemic racism and police brutality. As time goes on, I sincerely hope we can continue to educate our peers on racism and change the way our world views black people, along with other women and men of color. We cannot win this fight without you, Mijas.
Mija, yes you can…….. be a part of the change.