The Women of Black Lives Matter

From the Winter 2015 issue of Ms.: Patrisse Cullors, along with Alicia Garza and Opal Tometi, created the #BlackLivesMatter hashtag and organized the Black Lives Matter campaign after the 2012 killing of the unarmed young Floridian Trayvon Martin by a self-appointed vigilante.

“Movement and change take a significant amount of time,” said Cullors. “We are in a state of emergency, [but] things take decades, centuries to change. To unearth those systems––racism, patriarchy, transphobia––takes consistency and perseverance.” 

(For more ground-breaking stories like this, order 50 YEARS OF Ms.: THE BEST OF THE PATHFINDING MAGAZINE THAT IGNITED A REVOLUTION, Alfred A. Knopf—a collection of the most audacious, norm-breaking coverage Ms. has published.)

What Angela Alsobrooks’ Primary Win Means for Black Women in Politics

We currently have zero Black women governors and only one Black woman in the Senate. But that could soon change.

This week, exciting news came out of Maryland’s Democratic primary race: U.S. Senate candidate Angela Alsobrooks won big despite being outspent 10 to 1 by her opponent, Rep. David Trone, a wealthy businessman who threw more than $60 million of his own money into his campaign. Alsobrooks is the county executive for Maryland’s second-largest county, and this win means she, along with Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester, could become the United States’ fourth and fifth Black women to ever serve in the U.S. Senate.

Black Women Caught in the Digital Crosshairs

Black women are often in the crosshairs of abusive discourse driven by social media. That recent targets are often public figures suggests that social media abusers find it profitable to attack high-profile Black women who have become symbolic avatars for the group as a whole.

(This article originally appears in the Spring 2024 issue of Ms. Join the Ms. community today and you’ll get issues delivered straight to your mailbox!)

We Must Stop Catholic Hospitals From Closing More Labor and Delivery Units

When I became a registered nurse two decades ago, I chose to work at my local Catholic hospital: Ascension Via Christi St. Francis in Wichita, Kansas. This Mother’s Day provides a bleak reminder of the stark contrast between my Catholic employer’s public image and the reality inside its hospitals.

Ascension is one of the largest and wealthiest nonprofit and Catholic hospital systems in the United States. Ascension cut a quarter of its labor and delivery units, just in the last decade.

The Catholic health ministry boasts the mission of giving “special attention to those who are poor and vulnerable.” Act like it.

The Hypocrisy of a Post-Roe Mother’s Day

This Mother’s Day—like the countless that have come before it—conservative politicians who fancy themselves members of the party that upholds “family values” will send out social media posts praising the moms among us. They’ll wax poetic about the “decision” to become a mother and how it’s the “most selfless, most important job in the world.” Some may even go so far as to task their speech writers with crafting some moving message about how vital mothers are; how we’re raising the next generation of prolific thinkers and world leaders; how we should be revered “not just today, but every day.” 

And in the post-Roe world they created with their anti-abortion policies that have forced people into motherhood, attacked IVF and fertility treatments, and left doctors terrified to treat pregnant patients to the point that women are slipping into comas, miscarrying in hospital lobby bathrooms and enduring unnecessary C-sections instead of receiving common abortion care, it will all be one big, giant pile of bullshit.

Weekend Reading on Women’s Representation: Celebrating the Women Who Raised Us; ‘Mother of Juneteenth’ Opal Lee Receives Medal of Freedom

Weekend Reading for Women’s Representation is a compilation of stories about women’s representation. 

This week: Join RepresentWomen as we thank our mothers on Mother’s Day. Discover El’ona Kearny, aspiring to become Washington State’s first Black woman governor, and civil rights icon Opal Lee hailed as “The Mother of Juneteenth.” Explore the benefits of ranked-choice voting and how it can enhance presidential primary elections, and delve into the challenges facing our public schools as First Lady Jill Biden honors teachers for Teacher Appreciation Week. Finally, we celebrate the success of our “Breaking Barriers for Black Women Candidates” virtual roundtable discussion, where we heard invaluable insights from brilliant Black women about their political journeys and how we can offer more Black women support when running for office.

Mother to Mother: Three Women in Rural Ghana Who Are Transforming Early Childhood Nutrition

Though there has been significant improvements in maternal and early childhood nutrition throughout Ghana, it remains a major challenge for families. About 24 percent of children under 5 face some sort of malnutrition.

Many women and caregivers have limited knowledge and access to information about child feeding practices or how to prepare nutritious foods. Meet three women who are driving change for women and children in their community. 

The Twin Demons of Maternal Mortality and Femicide

Black women in the U.S. face a unique double-bind when it comes to maternal mortality and femicide.

Black maternal health isn’t just about perinatal care; it intersects with racial and reproductive justice, and it’s part of the nexus of gun violence and domestic violence. Focusing on this intersection should drive overwhelming support from both reproductive and racial justice communities working toward solutions. 

Mothers Have Led the Anti-Sexual Violence Movement

Tarana Burke, Oleta ‘Lee’ Kirk Abrams and Lucy Tibbs are a few of the many mothers of survivors and survivors that are mothers who have long been leading the movement to end sexual violence. 

Today, we thank mothers for their work leading the movement to end sexual violence. For far too long, they have had to protect themselves, advocate for their community and lead the national movement. We must all take responsibility to end sexual violence.