Saturday Night Live kicked off Black History Month with a skit giving viewers “28 Reasons to Hug a Black Guy.” The clip featured Keenan Thompson, Jay Pharoah, and SNL’s newest cast member, Sasheer Zamata.
While the sketch made me giggle, my feminist brain wouldn’t let me watch without questioning why Black women weren’t mentioned as deserving of the “love,” and why Zamata was basically relegated to the backup singer/dancer role without having her turn on the mic.
Yes, I know, it’s just a sketch on a comedy show, but Black women have continued to be marginalized when it comes to movements that emphasize race over gender (hence the #BlackPowerIsForBlackMen conversation). While Black women fought side-by-side with their husbands, brothers, fathers, and lovers in both the Civil Rights and Black Power movements, they are often mentioned in passing–or not at all.
As we begin another Black History Month, let us not forget our foremothers who have sacrificed, fought, and died for our rights.