A few months ago I had a meeting with a group who, I could tell, never had a meeting with a Black Woman before.
Yes, this was in 2020.
You may ask, “Nikki, how do you know this to be true?”
Outside of the abnormal body language, phrases like, “Female Business Owners, Women of Color, Females of Color, BiPoc Business Owners,” kept being used.
When "Black Woman" is right there in the name!
Unfortunately, this isn’t the first occurrence. Often times, I find myself sharing, educating, informing those outside, and sometimes inside, of the community on how harmful it is to use these terms when working with Black Women.
I would say, “It’s okay to say Black Women, when you are referring to “Black Women.”
“Female” doesn't mean "Woman".
The word "Female" is a scientific term that refers to the sex of a species that is capable of producing children. This can mean, bird, dog, cat, or human. The word female reduces a woman to her reproductive parts and abilities. Furthermore, not all women are biologically female and using this term erases gender-nonconforming people and members of the trans community.
The term "woman" refers specifically to human beings.
Black Women are human beings and should be referred to as such.
When a brand is looking to connect and use the term/phrase “Female Business Owner”, it’s pretty obvious that there is nobody like me in the room where it happens. While this is often a teachable moment, companies and organizations that are serious about the importance of diversity and inclusion, should get serious about the importance of diversity and inclusion.
"Women of Color" is not a synonym for "Black Women".
In 1977 a group of Black Women went to the National Women’s Conference in Houston, TX to discuss the Black Woman’s Agenda. When other minority races saw the work that Black Women were doing, they wanted to be included. It was in those negotiations in Houston [that] the term “women of color” was created.
Black Women have different experiences from other races.
Other races have different experiences than those of Black Women.
The term “women of color” erases our identities and dismisses all contributions.
It is also important to note that Black women are not always welcomed and supported by other communities of color.
We support Black Women Business Owners.
We say “Buy From a Black Woman” because Black Women Business Owners are still being shut out when it comes to access to capital. Black Women Businesses average revenue is $24,000 per firm vs. $142,900 among all women-owned businesses.
Because of this, it is important for us to use the term Black Woman in everything we do. From The Black Woman Loan Fund, to The Black Woman Inspire Tour, we work hard to ensure that Black Women Business Owners are seen, heard and supported!
This month we are celebrating five years of empowering, educating and inspiring Black Women Business Owners and the people who support them. We have and will continue to serve Black Women by making rooms larger so that they can move in.
Our mission, our motto and our name is the same.
buy from a black woman
Who said education can't be fun?
Happy April's Fool.
Founder, Buy From a Black Woman