Hillary Clinton made history Thursday as the first American woman to formally accept the presidential nomination of any major political party since the country was founded.
"Tonight’s victory is not about one person," she said. "It belongs to generations of women and men who struggled and sacrificed and made this moment possible."
But as history has proven, many of those men and women’s struggles have been erased from history simply because they weren’t white. And Anthony J. Williams, the editor in chief of Afrikan Black Coalition, wanted to draw attention to that fact.
"Yesterday, I watched Hillary Clinton become the first woman presidential nominee selected by the Democratic Party," Williams told Vox. "I thought of Shirley Chisholm, a black woman who ran for president years ago but whom I only learned about recently. I started tweeting, and a friend joined in, highlighting other black women."
Williams asked others to pitch in to create the perfect hashtag recognizing the impact of black women — near and far, regardless of fame. And Twitter user @Bitterblue55 replied with #BlackWomenDidThat, which has taken off in the hours since.
"I'm of the camp that black women are not treated well by anyone, including black men," Williams said, "and so the goal wasn't to just show love online but to think about how we can show love through our actions as well."
Some chose to use #BlackWomenDidThat to pay tribute to major historical figures from politics, social justice movements, sports, and the arts:
#BlackWomenDidThat cracked that glass ceiling that just shattered #ShirleyChisholm pic.twitter.com/j1poFbzdPk— #TroilusCresibo (@LeslieMac) July 29, 2016
marsha p johnson was the leader of the stonewall riots. she was a black trans women! #BlackWomenDidThat pic.twitter.com/g5x4kbw5gB— #1 kimberly hater (@apunkgrl) July 29, 2016
Shonda Rhimes is the first woman to create & executive produce a top 10 network series. #BlackWomenDidThat pic.twitter.com/iOCRBiuRNS— ️ (@pettyyonceh) July 29, 2016
Florence Flo-Jo, the fastest woman alive&a sis who ALWAYS slayed no matter the occasion #Blackwomendidthat pic.twitter.com/dTwrRuw9Wj— Vintage Honey (@thesoulasylum) July 29, 2016
And for many, the hashtag was an opportunity to recognize the triumphs of everyday extraordinary black women:
Tera Poole became the first Black Valedictorian at the world's first school of dentistry. #BlackWomenDidThat pic.twitter.com/7snVlp43rf— Philip Lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) July 29, 2016
22 years ago, my mom had to hold off on her dream of law school. 4 kids later, she graduated. #BlackWomenDidThat pic.twitter.com/JTkFawByCN— . (@blkgawdduss) July 29, 2016
Clinton’s success is no small feat. And while Clinton just shattered a glass ceiling as old as our nation itself, it’s important to remember there are many women of color who contributed to the cracks in that ceiling, and that when we don’t remember them, we don’t acknowledge how often they have been left behind to sweep up the glass.
CORRECTION: This article originally misstated Anthony J. Williams's surname. It has been corrected.