The NABJ is a Woman, Not a villainine

The NABJ is a Woman, Not a villainine

Opinion: What calls to boycott ‘The Woman King’ are really saying about them

I’m a woman. A woman of color. I’m a writer — which I’m not at this time. I’m an entrepreneur. I’m a mom. I’m a writer.

I’m a woman, not a villainine.

But, oh, I did get invited to this show. As a Black woman, on a Sunday night, without advance notice, I received an invitation to the National Association of Black Journalists’ annual conference, in Atlanta, and I accepted. I’m here because the NABJ and I aren’t enemies, but I have every reason to be concerned about how it will impact the profession’s current relationship with the Black woman in our community.

What happened on Feb. 7 in downtown Atlanta is the latest manifestation of a growing trend that we’ve seen for well over a decade. More Black women are getting invited to the conferences, more Black women are attending and networking, and more Black women are being asked to speak by the media.

At this point, it would be easy — and completely wrong — to look at what’s happening and label it a trend. We’ve seen it on other fronts, too, and that’s not all that’s disturbing. To date, we’ve only witnessed the phenomenon when someone like Hillary Clinton and Oprah Winfrey are involved or when a woman like Michelle Obama has been asked to speak in the past year.

NOBJ has never been the target of this kind of behavior. The women who are invited always choose themselves as the subject matter. And the people who are asking are almost always black men from a certain background — or, at least, they’re the ones who are getting together with the woman in question. They’re not often invited to the NABJ meetings.

The Black woman who has been chosen for a NABJ guest blogger is often not even an executive or an activist. Her identity is mostly defined by her social status as a prominent figure in her family and community. And the question in the invitation is most commonly

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