West Point Black Cadets Power Fist: Act of Unity or Rebellion? (VIDEO)

The latest black women’s group act of rebellion is reported by Fox News. They report 16 West point black cadets, (all women) are being investigated for dressing in uniform and posing with black power fists.  There are other pictures where they are holding military stances.

The moment they step out of the rigid pose and claim something that belongs to them and them alone, they’re chastised. Anytime black women show unity it is a political act.

On top of that, there are few spaces black women can celebrate collective success.The class was scheduled to graduate May 21. West Point says the young women are racist in their actions. A statement that is  laughable at best. Black people who make it through West Point go through hell to get there.

West Point has a long legacy and history of being both racist and sexist. It’s a place where nine to one,  pictures of graduating classes will be largely male and overwhelmingly white. If you make it to graduation, you’ve earned it. Black cadets do double-time to make it, black women cadets are triple-threat bad asses.

Why Is Showing Pride For Accomplishments A Crime?

The Army Times initially reported on the cadets last Thursday saying:

“While many details are unknown about the photo, the image has been shared widely in military circles, with claims the women are supporting the Black Lives Matter movement.”

So wait a minute, black women raising a fist in unity with other black women who have all come through one of most rigorous training programs in America, is wrong? Are they really being investigated for throwing up the sign for unity and black power?

Here’s the deal: they were on one accord owning a black people moment,  with a black woman soul sister salute. Sorry, white people who can’t get past that (but please stop guessing at and misnaming black culture).

Unity In The Community

Thank you to Mother Harriet Tubman “Black Moses” for showing black women that the impossible can happen again and again.  Another  thank you to Mother Sojourner Truth, for asking, “Ain’ t I A Woman?” and waiting on others to give an affirmative answer, teaching us that we define who we are as black  women. So yes, in a capitalistic,  patriarchal society, throwing up the black power sign is seen as threatening.  Thank you for leading the way and showing us that we should do it, anyway.    

#BlackCadets   #BlackGirlMagic

Mary Tobin, a West Point graduate, and mentor who knows the students said they were simply celebrating their forthcoming graduation as a shared accomplishment, like a sports team raising helmets after a win. It was a powerful moment.

Add Your Name To The Care 2 Petition

I stand with Tobin and the 16 Black Female cadets unapologetically raising their fists in solidarity to Sisterhood and their success as a West Point class.  They should not be made to repeat classes or in any way suffer for showing unity and black pride.

There is a Care 2 petition  that demands the sexist and racist investigation be stopped.  I’ll be adding my name and hope you will sign as well.

No matter what pose Black women decide to strike it is always a problem for those who don’t recognize #BlackGirlMagic.  In fact, #BlackGirlMagic is what brought these 16 through a class that was never designed to include them. Job well done. Congrats, ladies!


Featured Image: Getty/Spencer Pratt

C. Imani Williams is a human rights and social justice activist. She writes to empower and give voice to those silenced through systematic oppression. Her work has appeared in Between the Lines, Michigan Citizen, Tucson Weekly, Harlem Times, Dope Magazine and various news and popular culture blogs. Follow the unapologetically black political culture critique @ https://twitter.com/Imaniwms and https://www.facebook.com/You-Have-The-Right-540358412796352/?fref=ts