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Generic image (Thinkstock)

Writing at RH Reality Check, Imani Gandy says that the NAACP should choose a black woman well-versed in feminism (or womanism) and reproductive-justice advocacy to replace outgoing President and CEO Ben Jealous. A black feminist could help raise gender consciousness in the organization and in the black community, she argues, and address the gulf between advocates for racial justice and advocates for women's rights.

The NAACP can become a leading voice in bridging that gulf, should it choose the right woman to ensure that reproductive rights, as well as voting rights and civil rights, are couched as human rights. Should the NAACP choose a woman well-versed in feminism (or womanism) and reproductive justice advocacy, she could lead the NAACP toward full recognition of the rights of Black women to live their lives as they choose — to be mothers or not be mothers. She could raise gender consciousness in the NAACP and in the Black community when it comes to issues like misogyny in hip hop and street harassment. And she would be poised to work with traditionally white feminist organizations to ensure intersectionality and inclusivity aren't just buzz words.

Women of color are well-suited to build these sorts of alliances because we stand at the intersection of race and gender, and we recognize that sexism, racism, and classism are inseparable. As [Loretta Ross, co-founder and former national coordinator for SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective, and a tireless advocate for reproductive justice] points out, "We're the ones most capable of building bridges, but the least likely to be called upon to build them."


Read Imani Gandy's entire piece at RH Reality Check.

The Root aims to foster and advance conversations about issues relevant to the black Diaspora by presenting a variety of opinions from all perspectives, whether or not those opinions are shared by our editorial staff.

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