Hillary Clinton made history this week when she officially became the first female nominee of a major political party in the United States, and the DNC commemorated the moment by showing a video of Clinton breaking a literal glass ceiling — or, more accurately, a montage of the 43 male presidents who have served thus far shattering like glass to reveal Clinton’s face. Clinton is being celebrated for shattering the glass ceiling by becoming the nominee, but #BlackWomenDidThat is celebrating the black women who made that moment possible.
The trending hashtag features tweets about black women’s amazing work in everything from social justice and politics to sports and art. It highlights theireveryday triumphs as well as their lifelong legacies. Clinton may have shattered a glass ceiling on Thursday night when she accepted the Democratic Party’s nomination, but it’s vital that we remember the contributions of all the black women who put cracks in that ceiling first — and this hashtag helps us do just that.
Twitter user @Bitterblue55 officially coined the #BlackWomenDidThat hashtag, but it was Anthony J. Williams, editor-in-chief of California’s Afrikan Black Coalition — a statewide organization that works for black liberation on college campuses and beyond — who originally came up with the idea.
Williams told USA Today that he got the idea when he watched her acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention on Thursday night. He said he didn’t support Clinton because of her foreign policy and her support of the 1994 crime bill, but he recognized that her nomination was an important piece of representation for a lot of people. Williams also wanted to point out the fact that black women have been running for president, too:
I wasn’t happy necessarily watching that but I recognize that for a lot of people, particularly women of all races, it’s a huge moment to imagine that they or their daughters could become president. It is a beautiful moment in that. … I was tweeting about Shirley Chisholm who had run for president before and [Workers World Party U.S. presidential candidate] Monica Moorehead, who is running now, but very few people, including black people, know about her. So, after I sent out three or four tweets, my friend Mylo tweeted a bunch of black women who he felt were important … and then Mylo is like, “We need to create a hashtag.” So, I put it out to my followers.
Let’s take a look at some of the inspirational tweets that have come out of this hashtag.