April 11, 2022
By Monica Simpson, executive director of SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective
As a queer woman who grew up in North Carolina, I learned at an early age that my Blackness could be a source of great joy — but it could also pose a threat to my safety and autonomy.
In middle school, white boys laid their hands on me without my consent when I sharpened my pencil. To travel through town, I had to pass a building dedicated to Senator Jesse Helms, a champion of modern-day anti-abortion laws. It was all a daily reminder of the tight grip that whiteness had on my full liberation. I did not consent to that either.