WASHINGTON, D.C. — As we begin the celebration of Black History Month, let us use this moment to commit to facing the realities of race in America.
Around the country, school districts are banning books and discussions surrounding Black history, with extreme attacks on honest lessons and conversations about race. At the same time, voting rights are hanging by a thread, with states passing laws designed to silence BIPOC voices, chip away at their civil rights, and reinforce the systems of oppression that have held Black Americans back for centuries. We are witnessing a widespread effort to erase Black history, dooming us to repeat the mistakes of the past.
But as a nation that values unity and justice for all, we must acknowledge that we are all connected and thrive working to advance intersectional justice. This Black History Month, we stand on the edge of a dangerous precipice, forcing us to confront the traumas of the past while others work to undermine efforts to move towards a more equitable, fair, and safe future.
This year, it’s not enough to celebrate Black achievement or historic contributions—we must defend our democracy itself, protect our history, and demand solutions that advance racial justice. Achieving intersectional justice isn’t just a notion of the past, but a necessity for the future.
The National Organization for Women (NOW) is the nation’s leading membership-based advocacy group dedicated to defending women’s rights, advancing equality and combating injustice in all aspects of social, political and economic life. Through educating, mobilizing, and convening a vast network of grassroots activists across the country, NOW advocates for national, state and local policies that promote an anti-racist and intersectional feminist agenda. Since its founding in 1966, NOW has been on the frontlines of nearly every major advancement for women’s rights and continues to champion progressive values today. More about NOW’s efforts and resources is available at NOW.org.