Howard Students React to the Women’s March on Washington

On Friday, January 20th, 2017, Donald Trump was inaugurated as the 45th President of the United States. The following day Saturday, January 21st, history’s largest post-inaugural protest took place in Washington, DC, with 673 sister marches taking place worldwide.

The purpose of the march was to show solidarity and resistance against Trump’s election, which many opposed due to a campaign run on divisive rhetoric and possible legislation, specifically affecting women. The grassroots march, whose three of for co-founders are women of color, drew over 2 million participants in the U.S. alone.

Scattered within the plethora of participants were Howard University students, many of whom got up early to make their way down to the rally just outside of the Capitol building which began at 10 am. Some even posted videos and pictures to their Snapchat stories showing overly crowded metro stations, merely a precursor to the thousands of people in attendance to the protest itself. Throughout the march, Howard students took pictures of and with the array of signs that were brought to the protest and posted them to other social media websites. After settling back in their dorms after leaving the march, many took to Twitter to discuss their experiences, some of whom expressed that while the march itself was great, it revealed a deeper issue of a lack of intersectionality of feminism as a whole. One Howard student expressed that he  “thought the event was well made and handled. I wish I had seen more Black faces around me, but other than that the events that were put on were solid.”

Despite the diverse group of co-founders and the well-represented group of speakers and performers at the rally, these sentiments match that of other marchers nationally. One in particular, Angela Peoples, was photographed with a sign saying “Don’t Forget: White Women Voted for Trump” while a group of White women stood behind her on their phones and taking selfies. In an interview with USA Today, Peoples expressed that the real struggle will go beyond this one protest:

“It’s less about showing up and standing in solidarity with folks of color or immigrants, and more about actually doing the work in your communities to change some hearts and minds.”

When asked what the Women’s March would mean for the next four years, Howard freshman Aly F. was hopeful: “I think it is a foreshadowing, I think that thought the next for years will be tough, as we the black community have always done, [we] will come out stronger than before.”

To see what the next step is in this movement, check out the Women’s March 10 Actions/ 100 Days campaign.

Kesi Felton

Fellow

Kési Felton is a junior Journalism major from Atlanta, Georgia.She currently serves as the Content Director for Her Campus Howard and the Director of Communications for the Howard University Student Association. In addition to writing her own personal blog, she has written articles for The Hilltop, Walker's Legacy and Pretty Girls Sweat, LLC. Through digital storytelling, Kési hopes to amplify the voices and stories of underrepresented communities, beginning with Black women.

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