African American activist Tarana Burke, who started the famous #MeToo movement that’s sending tremors across the world, on Monday started a Twitter thread. In the powerful thread, Burke reflects on her vulnerabilities and apprehensions around the movement that she began to raise awareness of and the pervasiveness of sexual abuse and assault in society. But what she also does is hint on what is going to happen next in the movement.
- #MeToo movement that pushed survivors of sexual violence to pour out their accounts on social media and more recently in India, name and shame them too, actually started two decades ago in 2006 by Burke.
- Last year, #MeToo phrase caught fire in Hollywood when actor Alyssa Milano tweeted her story of abuse with the hashtag. It resonated with people across the world and several women from all over started posting about their incidents of sexual abuse on social media.
- After #MeToo became a broad movement encompassing the entire world, Burke enhanced its impact by working towards “empowermental empathy” and corrective measures for the society.
- In the Twitter thread, Burke revealed how last year when #MeToo went viral after the Harvey Weinstein case, she frantically called up her friends to understand whether she should tell people that it already exists or let go of it.
She said that while her work will always majorly revolve around Black and Brown women and girls, at the heart of it “it supports ALL survivors of sexual violence.” Burke noted that now that women are ready to fight this battle, she spent the last year working towards structuring the movement.
- Other black women and her supporters like Bevy Smith, Britni Danielle, Kirsten West Savali created momentum about her work on social media. Burke also posted a video of her talking about her work in the #MeToo movement and that went viral and reinstated her position in the campaign.
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- She said that while her work will always majorly revolve around Black and Brown women and girls, at the heart of it “it supports ALL survivors of sexual violence.” Burke noted that now that women are ready to fight this battle, she spent the last year working towards structuring the movement.
- Last year Time Magazine named her along with other prominent faces of the #MeToo movement as ‘Person of the Year’ and called them “The Silence Breakers”.
- Apart from MeToo movement, Burke is the Senior Director of Girls for Gender Equity in Brooklyn. It aims to help young women of colour increase their overall development through various programs and classes.
- In 1997, a girl’s account of sexual harassment by her mother’s boyfriend moved her and she felt a deep emotion of regret to say MeToo to that girl. She never saw that girl again.
- She is also the founder of Just Be Inc. an organisation that promotes the wellness of young female minorities aged 12–18 in 1997 for which she received her first grant in 2007.
Burke’s incessant fight towards getting justice for all the survivors of sexual harassment across the world gives hope to every woman that there is somebody who will not take discrimination lying down.
Picture credit- Afro Punk