Op-Ed: Black Migrant Power
Black queer migrants need to be centered in the struggle for migration rights in the United States.
A report by Black Alliance for Just Immigration (BAJI) states that more than one out of every five people facing deportation on criminal grounds is Black, and yet Black migrants—let alone Black queer migrants—are often left out of mainstream conversations on immigration. As an organization that addresses the needs and concerns of Black LGBTQIA+ migrants in the United States and globally, Black LGBTQIA+ Migrant Project (BLMP) works to address all things that seek to harm us and our community.
Black queer migrants experience forced migration in a multitude of ways, the biggest reasons being outside globalizing forces that drive people away from their homeland and lack of resources. Black queer migrants face homophobia and transphobia, too—an added layer of involuntary displacement.
Our members and those we seek to serve have been directly impacted by Western cultural norms that have manifested in Black communities worldwide—through coerced religious conversion, assimilation and whitewashing of Black Indigenous cultures, gender, and sexuality outside of the heteronormative and binary ideals.
BLMP’s mission is to build and center the power of Black LGBTQIA+ migrants to ensure the liberation of all Black people through community-building, political education, creating access to direct services, and organizing across borders.
BLMP has spent the last two years organizing and bringing together Black queer migrants across the country around issues affecting those at the intersection of Blackness and queerness. With our current campaign that calls for the release Sza Sza, a Jamaican trans woman who has been detained for over nine years, BLMP is bringing to the forefront the experiences and fights of those often ignored or forgotten by mainstream movements.
We are fighting against borders, against the criminalization of migration that includes forced migration and deportation of our people. We wish for an end to homophobia and transphobia that has and continues to kill members of communities locally and globally. BLMP envisions a world without forced migration, where all Black LGBTQIA+ people are free and liberated.
If you are a Black queer migrant, please do not hesitate to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Read and share Sza Sza’s story by Tina Vasquez. Follow us on social media @OfficialBLMP and donate through the Transgender Law Center webpage to fund our work for Black queer liberation.
Ain’t no borders got shit on us. With collective power comes collective freedom.