February 8, 2023

Many in power are actively working to erase Black experiences, resilience, suffering, strength and progress by making it illegal to teach Black history at all levels of education throughout many regions of the United States. The School of Social Work recognizes this as anti-Black racism at its most insidious and virulent. We will continue to build on the progress we have made together; we must not go backwards. Writings by Black feminists in particular are being banned from many public schools.

In defiance of that erasure and in honor of Black History Month, we want to most prominently recognize Black feminists and their writings as we say their names. We offer just a few examples of the wisdom and richness they add to our nation's fabric:

  • bell hooks: “I will not have my life narrowed down. I will not bow down to somebody else's whim or to someone else's ignorance.”
  • Angela Y. Davis: “I am no longer accepting the things I cannot change. I am changing the things I cannot accept.”
  • Audre Lorde: “The fact that we are here and that I speak these words is an attempt to break that silence and bridge some of those differences between us, for it is not difference which immobilizes us, but silence. And there are so many silences to be broken.”
  • Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw: “Some of the worst racist tragedies have been perfectly legal.”


The University of Washington and other organizations offer many opportunities to celebrate, engage with and learn about Black history during February. Read more here.