What Happens to Our Daughters While We're Saving Our Sons?

Soul songstress Jill Scott graces the cover of the May issue of Ebony magazine. Jill looks spectacular and her son Jett couldn't be more adorable, but it was headline "SAVING OUR SONS" in bold, capital letters that caught my attention and gave me pause.

Discussions about the future of Black America often center on the future of Black men and the many structural impediments to their success. No one can deny that Black boys face a crisis that requires immediate solutions. From elementary school to higher education, the odds are stacked against them. However, I'm concerned about the damage we do to young, Black girls by positioning their well-being as a secondary concern.

While we launch campaigns and television shows dedicated to the crisis of Black manhood, where are the marches for the 60% of Black girls who are sexually abused before their 18th birthday? We are solely responsible for rising up against the objectification and exploitation we face daily because ours aren't seen as the most pressing issues.

Though their hurdles differ, our daughters deserve just as much care and concern as our sons. We've historically been tasked with keeping the community, and society expects Black women to demonstrate indefatigable focus and fortitude while offering little support. Only when we come together are we allowed to discuss the physical and emotional toll this takes, but in the meantime we suffer.

I'm uncomfortable with the inclination to take black women's success for granted. We, too, are targets, and we're not super human. It's time to change the narrative. 

What do you think? Is the emphasis on raising strong sons necessary or misguided?

Kimberly Foster is the founder and editor of For Harriet. Email or

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