Today (July 24th) is International Self Care Day, but it is time to talk about the irony that this day comes during a time when there is an intentional lack of safety for simply existing for Black women.
How do Black women focus on self care in a world that literally wants them dead?
As we woke up this morning, images of Nia Wilson flooded timelines across the country. According to ABC7 News, the disturbing murder of Nia Wilson occurred on Sunday evening, July 22nd in Oakland, California. At around 9:45 PM, John Lee Cowell, a BART passenger, fatally stabbed Nia Wilson and left her sister, Tashiya Wilson, in critical condition. Letifah Wilson, her older sister, was also injured. Nia Wilson was an 18-year old girl living in the Bay Area. She finished high school at Oakland High this past June.
— Lucas Guilkey (@lucasguilkey) July 24, 2018
Nia Wilson and her two sisters were on the train going home when Cowell decided to follow them and brutally attack them. Letifah Wilson told ABC7 News, “I looked back and he was wiping off his knife and stood at the stairs and just looked.”
The lack of safety for Black women is incredibly disturbing. In the last seven days, there were reports of four Black women murdered including Nia Wilson. The names of other Black women taken too soon include MeShon Cooper, Sasha Garden, and LaTonya Richards.
When will the injustice against Black women end? This is a devastating time. No matter what race/color you are, it is not okay to read an article like this and continue with your day. It is time to take action. It is time to participate in protests, sign petitions, support fundraisers, call your local representatives, and have your voice heard.
No one should feel like their life is in danger while they are simply on their way home. The systematic oppression against Black women is unacceptable. Police brutality, white supremacy, and institutionalized racism makes it difficult but even more necessary for us as women of color to center and be unapologetic about self care.
Here are some tips to follow to ensure you prioritize self-care:
1. Be Selective With Social Media:
Social media distracts us everyday. We spend so much time on our phones and laptops that we forget simple things like whether we ate or not! Turn off your notifications. Put your phone on Do Not Disturb and focus on yourself. You time is essential.
[Source via Twitter]
2. Hold Each Other Up:
As the famous MLK quote goes, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” No one should be discriminated against for their color, religion, sexual orientation, etc. If you are in public witnessing verbal abuse, speak up on it. Being silent is allowing the cycle of injustice to continue.
3. Protect Your Inner Self:
Society makes us believe we should have a physical routine to ensure we are taking care of ourselves. Do not conform to this mentality. Understand that it is much more important to secure your emotional state, whatever that means to you.
It is time for all this to end. It is time to protect Black women.
[Editor’s note: If you would like to support the Wilson family, feel free to donate here: https://www.gofundme.com/justice-for-nia-wilson]