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What Black Women’s Histories Can Teach Us about Pandemics

Black Women in History

What Black Women’s Histories Can Teach Us about Pandemics


Given this historic moment of global pandemic, I am inclined to reflect on the importance of history.

Already, this history is gendered, raced and classed. The privileged comfort and status of Global North nations moved slowly to combat the spread of the coronavirus that caused the respiratory illness called COVID-19 since it originated from China.

Nonetheless, a virus that spreads easily from human to human knows no national or natural borders—given the global expanse of human travel, migration and distribution of goods in the present neoliberal global economy. 

What began as the epicenter of the pandemic in China in January of 2020 soon moved to European countries like Italy in February and Spain in March to the United States in April. And the most vulnerable—the elderly, the disabled, the poor and communities of color in the United States with high rates of people with preexisting health conditions—bore the brunt of this crisis.

Meanwhile, women in healthcare professions and at homes as caretakers, cleaners, parents and teachers, felt…

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I am a future butterfly at the stage of growth when I am turning into an adult. I am enclosed in a hard case shell formed by love, family, and friends. It is the hardest stage of becoming a black butterfly. You will encounter many hardships only to come out stronger and better than what you went in. At this stage, you are finding out who you truly are and how to love yourself.

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What Does It Mean To Be “Black Butterfly Beautiful”

The image of the butterfly has come to define the many expressions of the feminine black consciousness and for a good reason. The butterfly is the perfect articulation of the exquisite beauty of nature. Whether tiny or large, brightly colored or more subdued, the butterfly’s allure is undeniable. Each one displays its own unique patterns and hues, and no one species outshines any other.

Similarly, there is no one ideal image of a black woman -- each is gorgeous in her right. All African-Americans share a glorious history of struggle and perseverance that has funneled into the modern black renaissance. And, like the graceful butterfly, the awakened black woman exemplifies the dazzling beauty of that cultural evolution.

Flying High

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