Uzazi Village is nurturing Black mothers and birthing bodies, and fighting health inequities in Kansas City

By Kelcie McKenney

Sandra Thornhill came to Uzazi Village in 2018 when she was pregnant with her son Jerren Junior. 

“That’s where I met the co-founder and CEO of Uzazi Village, Mama Hakima,” Thornhill said of Uzazi Executive Director Hakmia Tafunzi Payne. She had stopped by for a labor and delivery class and got to talking to Payne about where she wanted to give birth. At the time, Thornhill wanted to have a home birth, but felt like going to the hospital was easier. 

“But [Payne], being the true, authentic, warrior sister that she is, called me out,” Thornhill recalled. It turned into an hour long conversation about the autonomy of Thornhill’s body and that she had every right to determine how she wanted her birth to take place.

“Two years later, that has taken me on a journey to always question, ‘Am I being the most true and authentic?’” Thornhills said. “So after having my son, who is a boy, I realized that my first child would be a Black male. And looking at the climate of the existence and history of Black men in America—not only in America, because I’ve traveled internationally—and seeing how the Black male was treated, that made me realize I don’t want him to have to wait until he’s 27 or 28 to realize that your voice matters.”

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White People: Let’s Stop Cherry-Picking MLK’s Words and Instead Listen to What We Need to Do for Change

By Meg Pawley

If you take a look around the Twin Cities today, you might mistake it for the year 1967. As a reaction to the repeated, state-sanctioned execution of black men and women that continues in the US today, an uprising has begun. What began as peaceful protests in 1967 became bona fide race riots all over the country. When discussing the riots, Dr. King said:

“Riot is the language of the unheard, and what is it that has America failed to hear? It has failed to hear that the promises of freedom and justice have not been met. And it has failed to hear that large segments of White society are more concerned about tranquility and the status quo than about justice, equality, and humanity.”

Those words are still relevant today, as the peaceful protests in Minneapolis and Saint Paul have also ended in riots. Engagingly, in the wake of the murder of George Floyd, I have seen far more white people criticize the riots than the senseless act itself. Most of them accompany their (unwarranted) opinion with one quote or another from Dr. King that, taken wildly out of context, seems to only promote peace and love. 

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Black communities paved the way for Asian-American communities. Here’s how Asian-Americans can support #BlackLivesMatter

By Ishani Doshi

I want to share these resources for other Asian Americans to help understand how importantly Allyship is for People of Color. If your family immigrated after 1965, you are here because of the Civil Rights Movement and the passing of the 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act. Asian American communities exist because Black communities in America paved the way for us, and made it possible for us to seek a better life for our families. We need to do our part both within our own communities and externally to ensure we are part of the solution and not the problem of racial injustice.

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Want to support the KC Black community with your money, time, and action? Here’s where to start.

By Catcall Staff

Erin Zimmerman, president of Kansas City Women in Film and Television, started this growing, Anti-Racism Resources document to help Kansas Citians get connected and supportive of our Black community. This is a growing doc, open for contributions.

Anti-Racism Resources

* This is NOT a fully comprehensive list, it’s a START. A community-collected resource. If you have a resource you would like added, a correction or update, please fill out this Google Form. Thank you!

** THANK YOU to the humans who have paved the way for us to DO THE WORK—especially Black Folx! We see you. We hear you. We are here to do the ongoing work.

This is meant to continue on as a living, breathing resource, to do the work so that we can keep black humans living and breathing! It’s a resource meant to add to, update and reference over time, so that we, as white people, can do our part to dismantle racism and the systems that oppress, brutalize and murder black people. Performative, optical allyship is just NOT acceptable!

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‘A Feminist’s Guide to: Unlearning White Feminism’ is Babe Collective’s way of telling white feminists it’s time to unlearn that racist bullshit

By Kelcie McKenney

When you opened social media this week chances are you were flooded with black squares. All of your friends came together and supported Black people by sharing a single post on their Instagram! We collectively ended police brutality and racism with a single post! Peak activism! 

Wrong. 

Being an ally doesn’t work like that. And there are a lot of Black, female voices (like these you should follow to start!) telling us—and by us I mean white women—that we’re SO in the wrong. It’s about damn time we listen.

The feminist movement is historically pretty fucking racist, and we’ve got a lot of unlearning to do. A lot, a lot, a lot of unlearning to do. So Aubrey Young and Jihan Bazile of Babe Collective created a zine for white women to use as a jumping off point to “understand our role in White Feminism and to challenge our behaviors and step out of our comfort zone.” 

We spoke with Young, founder of Babe Collective, about the new zine and the launch party and intersectional-focused conversation happening on Friday—which we will be at! (Catcall founder, Kelcie, me!, is on that panel.) It’s a free, virtual workshop, which you can register for here.

There are a lot of resources created by Black women to use after this conversation—which Babe Collective shares in their zine and on social media—so think of this conversation as step one in a lifetime of reeducation, work, and support for the Black community. But we all have to start somewhere.

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