An elder once told me “ I am a great believer in my ancestors, for the things they do for me, they guide me, I dream of them, I am happy to be an African.” When I attempt to identify who is the Black woman, la femme noire, la morena, la negra, I say she is more than anything else a Rebel. Yet, she is also a truth teller, a freedom fighter, a medicine woman, a priestess, a mother, a cultural worker, a creatress, a lover and praise singer of her people. History teaches us that through enslavement, captivity, racist capitalism and patriarchy, the Black woman remains standing in defiance. As the legacy of Mama Tingo, Harriet Tubman, Assata Shakur, Nehanda, Nanny, and countless unnamed Black women liberators teaches us, we do not fear joining our ancestors for it is they who navigate our journey.
Today we acknowledge the power of remembering and paying homage to our foremothers. It is at the altar of the revolutionary Black woman that we must continue to speak out against our oppression, marginalization, dehumanization and exploitation. Silence is our enemy, so we dream, we sing, we light candles, we organize, we make children and give gifts to our ancestors; our Rebel Mothers. As Black women we are bonded through common struggle, while we are dispersed throughout the world in Senegal, Brazil, the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Jamaica and Harlem our remembrance of struggle persists. In the South American favelas, the Caribbean barrios, the American ghettos, in the African villages and shantytowns Long Live the Rebellious Black Woman! Let us keeping honoring the battles fought by our ancestral mothers and dance to the drums of justice.