UK professor creates hashtag to honor black women


Assistant professor of counseling psychology Candice Crowell created #dearblackwomen to empower black women. Photo by Taylor Pence

Lee Mengistu

Black History Month is a time to reflect on African-Americans stories accomplishments and inspiring stories.

But Facebook and Twitter users may have noticed a different kind of hashtag celebrating black people this year.

“#DearBlackWomen & #dearblackgirls you are incredible, inspiring and indefatigable,” @busywalrus said on Twitter.

“#DearBlackWomen Rest. Take time to really appreciate that you have done enough,” said Candice Nicole on Facebook.

UK counseling psychology assistant professor Candice Crowell created the #DearBlackWomen campaign aims to uplift African-American women and girls, a group that she said has been continuously alienated in the past.

A 2010 study in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology found that black women were less likely to be noticed or remembered in a social group. 

Crowell co-created a similar hashtag, #DearBlackMen, to channel her frustration following the non-indictments of the police officers who shot Eric Garner and Michael Brown.

During that time, #SayHerName, a hashtag highlighting black female victims of police brutality and vigilante justice, gained attention. Crowell used Black History Month to “celebrate, love, encourage, and challenge Black women in the same way.”

“I use a love ethic in my activism, because I believe directing my most patient, compassionate, healing, loving, caring, and respectful attention to people who are marginalized is transformative and powerful,” Crowell said.

As February ends, Crowell invited others to participate and check out previous posts.

“My hope is that when someone clicks the hashtag, they can read uplifting, inspiring, loving, encouraging notes that make them laugh, cry, and keep going. At the core, I think humans want to be loved and belong. I hope black women feel both reading this.”