After attacks on Maxine Waters, April Ryan, black women clap back with #BlackWomenAtWork

After attacks on Maxine Waters, April Ryan, black women clap back with #BlackWomenAtWork
Source: Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

The #BlackWomenAtWork hashtag was inspired by a tiring day of racist and sexist comments hurled at two successful black women just trying to do their jobs.

On Tuesday morning's episode of Fox and Friends, Fox News host Bill O'Reilly responded to a clip of Congresswoman Maxine Waters speaking out against President Donald Trump by mocking her hair, saying "I didn't hear a word she said ... I was looking at the James Brown wig." 

Then, at Tuesday's White House press briefing, during a heated exchange between press secretary Sean Spicer and White House correspondent April Ryan, Spicer admonished Ryan for responding to his comments, telling her "Stop shaking your head again."

Writer and activist Brittany Packnett was moved to action by Tuesday's events, and on Wednesday evening she tweeted a call to action, urging black women on Twitter to share their "Maxine and April moments" with the hashtag #BlackWomenAtWork.

The responses came flooding in: countless stories from black women, in their own words, of experiences where they had been ignored, slighted, undervalued and underestimated. 

Some high profile black women got in on the hashtag, including former Today host Tamron Hall and former interim DNC Chair Donna Brazile.

And eventually the hashtag reached one of the women who had inspired it. On Tuesday night, Congresswoman Maxine Waters tweeted out "I am a strong black woman. I cannot be intimidated, and I'm not going anywhere."

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Anna Swartz

Anna is a staff writer for Mic covering breaking news. She can be reached at aswartz@mic.com.

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