For decades, February has been marked in the U.S. calendar as Black History Month – when public school systems, corporate brands, and politicians uplift moments from Black history that were often palatable to non-Black people. However, this approach tends to overlook the harsh realities of racist and anti-Black roots and actions in the United States. It also fails to celebrate the Black community’s joy, accomplishments, and healing. In response, many Black communities have started recognizing February as Black Futures Month.
Black domestic workers confront historical anti-Blackness. The 1930s Federal Labor Standards Act, which promised U.S. workers fair working conditions, was tainted by racist views that led to the exclusion of agricultural and domestic workers from its provisions. This exclusion was rooted in maintaining the exploitation of Black labor, leaving 65% of Black workers without protection rights at the time.
Despite this history, we, as domestic workers, continue a legacy of resistance and progress. From the daily acts of resistance by enslaved women to the organized strikes of Southern washerwomen in the late 19th century and the initiatives led by 20th-century figures like Dorothy Bolden and Melnea Cass. Black domestic workers have always been at the forefront of efforts to improve industry conditions and their lives.
Operating within this powerful legacy, We Dream in Black celebrates Black Futures Month every day by reveling in Black joy and leadership and envisioning a future where Black domestic workers should be protected from abusive conditions in the workplace while creating a culture of seeing care as a collective responsibility.
Meet some Black domestic workers making a difference in the domestic worker movement every day!
We Dream in Black – North Carolina Organizers and member leaders
We Dream in Black: We Dream in Black (WeDiB) is an initiative of the National Domestic Workers Alliance and is the organizing home that centers the voices and experiences of Black, Afro-Latinx, and Afro-descendant domestic workers.
Unbossed Agenda: The ‘Unbossed Agenda’ is We Dream in Black’s organizing directive to give power back to the visions of Black domestic workers, who are U.S. born and immigrants, of multiple gender identities and sexualities, and of varied class backgrounds and abilities—some of the most invisible, essential and unprotected workers in our country.