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Black History Month

We welcome Black History Month on our born day, and we set our intentions for this month.

After what seemed to be an interminable first month of the year, January is finally over and we welcome February after a full moon filled with purpose, set intentions and energy. Wear Your Voice turns four today(!) and our birthday is not only a celebration for us, but for our dearest readers too.

While times are difficult and fraught, we have consistently been in awe of what our fellow creatives, activists and witches have been building and nurturing. There is no better time than the present to actualize projects which intend to help our Black and brown communities. Over here at WYV, we have been creating resources, developing ideas and opening up discussions which prioritize OUR voices — the voices of the marginalized, the voices of queer and trans BIPOC who have been systematically tokenized or ignored in favor of white cishet voices. This is truly a space for us, by us.

We welcome Black History Month on our born day, and we set our intentions for this month. As managing editor, I am thrilled to say that this “Letter from the Editor” will be the first of many monthlies to come and it is only natural and fortuitous that the first edition of these letters should be today.

This Black History Month we celebrate the Black queer women, femmes, trans and non binary people who are often left out of the discussions of Black History Month in favor of cishet male voices and historical figures. WYV is also celebrating Black women through our marketplace, with our Black activists and creatives shirts featuring some of history’s most groundbreaking women: Sojourner Truth, Ida B. Wells, Angela Davis, Octavia Butler, Lucy Parsons, Assata Shakur and many more.

The intentions I am setting for Black History Month include making Wear Your Voice an even safer space for our readers as well as our writers. WYV would be nothing without the hundreds of voices we have been lucky to make space for on our site, and part of the integrity of our magazine means making sure our writers’ voices are not only nurtured, but safe. This being said, our editorial team has decided that we will no longer have a comment section on our site. Readers are welcome to engage with us on our social media platforms insteadAs an intersectional feminist publication, we are targeted by misogynists, racists, queerphobic people who simply show up to derail conversations and threaten our writers with bile. Nothing good can come from making space for that kind of energy and there is no such thing as a good debate with people who don’t consider us as equals or even deserving of humanity.

Related: REMEMBERING SOJOURNER TRUTH, THE MOTHER OF INTERSECTIONAL FEMINISM

We make these changes and set these goals for self care on our birthday because as poet Audre Lorde put it, “Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.”

Our self care as Black and brown peoples is a necessary component of resistance. Loving ourselves despite systems which groomed us not to is a revolutionary act and one of great bravery. While it looks different for everyone, I ask you dear readers and writers, what will you do to prioritize yourselves and your mental health this month? What makes you feel peaceful, happy and well-rested?

Moving through the month, we land on St. Valentine’s Day and we celebrate not just romantic heterosexual love, but platonic love, self-love and queer love for BIPOC. What does love look like in a racist, capitalist cisheteronormative patriarchy? What radical actions can we take to push back against a society which demonizes our love? We love harder, we love ourselves the most, we become fiercely empathetic, nurturing and kind. In times of great hopelessness we must prioritize those who need our support the most. Those are my intentions, those are the intentions of Wear Your Voice this month and beyond.

Thank you dear readers for a wonderful four years. Thank you for supporting our writers, sharing our pieces, engaging with us and helping us grow into a platform with integrity. Thank you for wearing your voices and for helping us wear ours.

 

 

 

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Lara Witt (she/they) is an award-winning feminist writer who primarily writes about feminism, racism, pop-culture, mental health, and politics. Witt received her BA in Journalism from Temple University and interned for Philadelphia CityPaper’s arts and entertainment section and the Philadelphia Daily News covering local news, court stories, and crime. Following her graduation, she became increasingly committed to writing about gender, race, and queer identity by using Black and brown feminist theory to analyze current news and politics. Witt freelanced for national and local publications, which led to her working with Wear Your Voice Magazine eventually becoming their EIC and rebranding the site to focus primarily on using the analytical framework of Dr. Kimberlé Crenshaw’s theory of intersectionality. Video Player is loading. Witt’s goal is to provide platforms for marginalized voices with a focus on having other Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) writers tell their own stories and explore their own narratives. Witt has spoken at local Philadelphia events, such as the March to End Rape Culture (2017) and curated a yearly series of events called The Electric Lady Series. These events highlight women of color in Philadelphia by exploring gender, rape culture, entrepreneurship, art, self-care, sex, and culture.

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