June 10, 2018 - SACRAMENTO BEE - ‘Can I live?’ Hundreds march for black women in Sacramento
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By Cassie Dickman
Hundreds of people marched through the streets of Sacramento Saturday morning to show their support for black women and the issues they face in their families, communities and society.
The second annual Black Women's March was hosted by Sacramento's Black Women United organization and the theme was "Can I live?"
"I wake up angry everyday, and I can't get out of my own skin to save me," said Jasmine Robinson, who stood amongst the crowd rallied outside of the Capitol. She held a large sign that read "Stop Killing Us" and featured photos of black women.
"Are we, black women, allowed to live full, free lives? When we look at the news and the statistics, the answer is no," wrote Mitchell, whose local nonprofit organization is dedicated to the education, protection and advancement of all black women. “'Can I live?' is born from the frustration that for too many of us, this country doesn’t protect us in the way our Constitution promises."
The event began at Crocker Park around 9 a.m. and ended at the Capitol for a rally on the west steps, where performers and speakers advocated for the empowerment of black women. There were about 20 booths offering services and information, along with an area where children played with hula hoops, jump ropes and a large, colorful parachute.
Speakers and performers talked about how black women are abused, their bodies sexualized and they are undervalued in society.
"These gatherings are important for us," California state Sen. Holly Mitchell, D-Los Angeles, told the crowd just steps away from where she works. "These multi-generational gatherings, where we proudly proclaim that we are black women and you should trust us, are important for the world."
Holly Mitchell, who described herself as first and foremost a black woman and a black mother of a black son, talked about what it was like for her and other black women to get up every day. She said that black women need to connect with each other and the resources available to them so they can "find a way" forward and also through these "trying political times."
"What is it going to take for us to sustain the fight that we have to engage in everyday for our survival, the survival of our children and the survival of our communities," the senator asked the crowd. "We are going to 'find a way' by supporting each other, by staying healthy ourselves, by investing in our communities, by voting."
It was nice to see everybody joining together and having a good time, said Keia Kodama, who was at the event to support and show love and unity for all women, especially black women.
"I think that we all don't get together like this enough," Kodama said. "To just come as a community."
Photo Caption: Holly J. Mitchell is with Kellie Todd and Tanya Ikemba Faison. (By Tracey Hurd-Parker).