Women’s History Month Spotlight: Charlene Carruthers

The Black Queer Feminism Lens and what it means for black activism

National director for Black Youth Project 100 and board member for black reproductive justice organization SisterSong, Charlene Carruthers is a woman to watch. She helps to lead a collective of black millennial activists committed to change in America.

BYP100 has recently released its Agenda to Build Black Futures, which Carruthers states is “the culmination of over a year of work from young black people, articulating what we think should be done.” Reparations in the vein of access to health care for transgender youth and finding solutions to displacement of communities through gentrification are among the matters covered by the agenda. Carruthers believes that being serious about the cause of racial justice demands understanding its relationship to economic justice.

Charlene Carruthers 2

Carruthers and her peers keep the most marginalized people in their center. Knowing that young black people are disproportionately impacted, she wants to keep them involved in the search for solutions. By focusing on the intersectionality of being black and queer, she works to tell complete stories that will hopefully lead to complete solutions. Growing up in a working class family she knows firsthand the effects of white supremacy, patriarchy and classism.

In her own words, “The time is always right for the issues that impact black people to be at the forefront. Before the founding of this country, black folks had been dehumanized, exploited, and severely oppressed. America has a responsibility to actually be able to reconcile, to pay reparations, to transform itself for the sake of the violence that they’ve committed generation after generation against black people. And so the time is always right.”

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