'We are one, our cause is one, and we must help each other; if we are to succeed.'--Frederick Douglass, 1847
I made that point in a 2008 blog post and seven years later, ain't nothing changed except for the fact I have more compelling data to back it up.
I also have a growing list of legacy organizations in our community such as the NAACP realizing not only that Black trans community issues
are Black community issues, they are vocalizing it more often.
We Black trans people are part of the kente
cloth fabric of the community and deserve our seat at the family
table. That point needs to be made even more clearer in the wake of the unjust Zimmerman verdict.
We're dealing with 26% unemployment and underemployment, near genocidal rates of anti-trans violence aimed at us, zero Black trans people elected to political office since 1992, and difficulties in getting our identification documents to match up with the people we are now due to lack of consistent policies on making those changes accessible and affordable, and it must end now.
That's before we even begin to talk about the issues we have in common with our cis African-American brothers and sisters like stop and frisk policies and police brutality that disproportionately affect us, voter suppression and dealing with a society that hates our Black bodies just as much as they hate yours.
We must help each other as Frederick Douglass stated if we are to succeed. That also means you must respect and treat the trans community as equal partners in this struggle and not some unwanted relative you reluctantly speak to
The bottom line is if we are beginning the process of closing Black
community ranks in order to build a more cohesive community to better
execute the legal and sociopolitical struggle we're about to embark on,
transpeople not only must be part of the conversation, but foot soldiers
and leaders in it.
Black trans community issues are Black community issues, and now more than ever, that message needs to be burned into the brain of every African-American.
We don't have time for the petty BS when whiteness and white supremacy is still working on their now four century old effort of keeping all African descended people demonized and marginalized in American society for their benefit.