The Activism of Healing Justice for Black Women
Activism has been a central part of EbonyJanice Moore’s life for as long as she can remember. “I’ve been an organizer my whole life. I’ve been a lifetime NAACP member since I was a little girl. I’ve marched, and I’ve done all of those things,” Moore told Supermajority News.
Since receiving her Master’s degree in social change, Moore has been focusing her activism on healing justice, particularly for Black women and other women of color. “My focus really is on Black women and body ownership as a justice issue,” she explained. “How do we show up, especially in this time, and be able to be in our bodies?”
Supermajority News recently talked to Moore about how we can all support activists and educators doing the work on the frontlines.
Supermajority News: You’ve said before that there is often an ‘unspoken trauma’ in the African American community that both community members and healthcare providers might not have the right words for.
Moore: Absolutely. The case of George Floyd and the other recently murdered people feels like it is getting a global reaction and acknowledgment other cases haven’t. But this isn’t new to Black people at all. They have been experiencing it.
A therapist friend of mine, Thea Monyee, has said in many of the workshops we’ve done together that Western mental health language doesn’t speak to this Black trauma. They would just say ‘you have depression’ or ‘you are anxious,’ but it never examines what is the foundation of that is and never acknowledges what comes with being Black in America.
Supermajority News: You’ve also often written about the impact of online activism. How can we support activists both online and off?
Moore: I’ve noticed that people have been sharing lists of social media activists to follow, but you [also] need to go to those pages and like and comment on their posts. See what workshops they are hosting. Don’t just consume them like a resource.
I come from an academic background, and social media isn’t yet considered a credible source of learning [in academia]. But this current generation has grown up entirely on some sort of social media platform, so it is impossible not to acknowledge social media as a source of learning.
We also need to support activists tangibly. If they have Patreons, subscribe. I bring money into the conversation because, for a lot of us, this is our life’s work. That means that if you come and you learn from me, it’s a Ph.D. level education in a caption or a blog post. Honor that like the brilliance that it is, as it contributes to your own unlearning of white privilege.
Supermajority News: What would you say to activists who may be struggling with burnout?
Moore: My work, specifically my work with Black women and women of color, asks us to dream. If we weren’t creating from a place of resistance all the time if we weren’t marching every day, what would you be doing in your highest imagination?
I’m asking people to take a step back and ask, ‘What do I really need today? What would feel good to me?’ I promise you that the revolution is not going to stop because you need a day off.