Black History Bootcamp - GirlTrek

Join GirlTrek's Black History Bootcamp by filling out the form below.

Over the next month, we will walk through Black history together celebrating our powerful foremothers each day. They blazed a trail for us.

Sign up below for this special #daughtersof walking challenge and each day, we will email you an inspiring Black history story, a playlist, a secret code to join a fun phone conversation with thousands of women during your solo walk, and sister-accountability to keep going the full 21 days. GirlTrek is always free and open to everyone. Who’s with us!?

If you are new to the movement or this is your first challenge, we are 1 woman closer to 1 Million strong by 2020 because of you. You have officially joined the ranks of 650,000+ Black women committed to reclaiming holistic lives rooted in wellness and radical self-care.
* indicates required

Day 11: Marsha P. Johnson

Posted by – June 15, 2020


Day 11

“We need healing, we need safety, and we need to not be the only ones doing the work to challenge white supremacy, transphobia, and toxic masculinity. We need to challenge what safety looks like for all Black women. The solutions are not found by looking to police or prisons--institutions that have for a long time decimated Black trans community--but rather to ourselves and to our allies because our liberation is tied and none of the work matters if our people are still being forgotten or left behind.” - Janetta Johnson, TGI Justice Project.

It's Day 11 of Black History Bootcamp and we are here to do the work of telling the stories, known and unknown, of our great freedom fighters. Today, in the middle of pride month, after a weekend of nationwide protest in support of Black trans people, we do this by celebrating the life and legacy of activist, Marsha P. Johnson.

This is going to be a fun and juicy conversation because Marsha "Pay It No Mind" Johnson (yes, that's what the P stands for) was about that life!


Day 11: We are the #DaughtersOf Marsha P. Johnson

Look, Marsha said she ain’t do it!

Although legend has it that it was Marsha P. Johnson who threw a shot glass at police inside of the Stonewall Inn in NYC in 1969, as an act of resistance against the police who were there harassing patrons, Marsha later said, she didn’t start the riot - she said she came running as fast as she could though once she knew it was happening, because baaaby, she was a fighter and was tired of the BS.

What happened that day at Stonewall (“The Stonewall Uprising”) is considered by many to be the catalyst that launched the modern L.G.B.T. civil rights movement and it was Marsha who would lead the fight in the streets. She, along with co-founder Sylvia Rivera, established one of the country's first safe spaces for transgender and homeless youth, Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries (STAR). She also tirelessly advocated on behalf of sex workers, prisoners, and people with HIV/AIDS. Marsha’s work was powerful, but it didn’t keep her from a fate that far too many Black women have met. Marsha died in 1992. Her body was recovered in a river in New York and her death was ruled a suicide. Authorities later reclassified the cause, ruling it drowning from undetermined causes. The case remains open, and the mystery of her death reminds us of the ongoing violence black and transgender people face all too often in this country.

Tune in live today. You don’t want to miss it.


Day 10: Baby Esther

Posted by – June 12, 2020


Day 10

The People vs. Betty Boop.
In 1934 there was a court case filed by a white woman named Helen Kane.  Kane was a popular vaudeville singer.  She sued the creators of the cartoon, Betty Boop, for stealing her character.  The likeness of the cartoon to Kane was certainly undeniable. She sued for $250,000, ownership of Betty’s “baby talk” act, and demanded a cease and desist of all future cartoons.  The case made it all the way to the New York Supreme Court.  And then it happened.  We learned the real story.  Helen Kane stole her entire squeaky-voiced “boop-boop-a-doop” act and catchphrase from a 9-year-old Black girl from Chicago named Esther Jones. 

"Baby Esther" was a phenomenal scat singer, and one of the most charismatic performers of her time.  She was a trained dancer and acrobat.  At 4-years-old, Russian-American theatrical manager Lou Bolton saw her performance and was blown away.  "She's a young Florence Mills," the newspapers said. Like Josephine Baker and many performers of her day, Baby Esther was not accepted in America because she was Black.  Instead, her manager arranged a European tour in 1929 and she was described as the highest-paid child artist in the world. She sold out the Moulin Rouge and performed for royals.

Back in Harlem, she got a new manager - another white man who also managed Helen Kane. One night, that talent manager brought Helen to a night club to study Baby Esther's act.  She did.  She stole it and became an overnight success in America.  Then, she demanded her royalties from the pop culture sensation that became Baby Boop.


Day 10: We are the #DaughtersOf Esther Jones

At GirlTrek, we say "never ask permission to save your own life."  We say it WHILE we work together to topple oppressive systems because we believe that we have what it takes to thrive.  But this story reminds us of the many things that have been stolen from us - resources, culture, reputation, royalties, and childhoods.  Let's take stock on today's call.


Day 9: Zora Neale Hurston

Posted by – June 11, 2020


Day 9
If “I said what I said” was a person, it would be literary great Zora Neale Hurston. A writer. An anthropologist. The belle of the Harlem Renaissance. Unapologetically Black. A woman wholly committed to being herself. Today we talk about her life and the lessons she has to teach us about worth, value, speaking truth to power, and jumping at the sun. 


Day 9: We are the #DaughtersOf Zora Neale Hurston 

Born in Alabama and raised in Eatonville, Florida, the first incorporated all-Black town in the country, Zora Neale Hurston was described as gutsy, dramatic, and indiscreet - all things we love! We promise to keep that same energy on today's call. Join us live or listen to the recording. 


Day 8: Sojourner Truth

Posted by – June 10, 2020


Day 8.  

Forget what your 8th-grade teacher taught you.

Sojourner Truth's life was so juicy, so "say what!?", that you cannot miss this live discussion.  She is everyone's favorite spiritual leader, yes.  But did you know that Sojourner Truth bore the child of a slave owner, then - when she escaped his bondage - she sued his ass for custody and won!  Sojourner Truth was the first Black woman to go to court against a white man in America and win. Bring your tambourines as we hit the streets for a Truth Revival!


Day 8: We are the #DaughtersOf Sojourner Truth

Sojourner Truth may or may not have poisoned a wealthy New York City merchant with a plate of blackberries.  She was acquitted, so we're pleading a collective fifth. Let's just say we have a lot to discuss.  Born "Belle" Baumfree, she gave herself the name Sojourner Truth in 1843 when she heard the Spirit of God tell her to leave the city and go into the countryside "testifying the hope that was in her".  We honor her hope and fervent calling today.


Day 7: Olive Morris

Posted by – June 10, 2020


Oh, they gonna learn your name today, Olive!
Yesterday, Black Lives Matter protestors in Bristol, England toppled a statue of a 17th-century slave trader and through it into the river, making this the perfect day to celebrate the legacy of Olive Morris, a London activist, who in her short lifetime, left behind an extraordinary legacy of activism.
GirlTrek is a global movement. We know that our history stretches back across oceans. We believe that the revolution must include learning about and uplifting the stories of Black women across the diaspora and on day seven of Black History Bootcamp, we are excited to share Olive’s story!

Day 7: We are the #DaughtersOf Olive Morris

From London, by way of Jamaica, Olive Morris lived 27 years and she made every one of them count. She was Gangster with a capital G, organizing with the Black Panther Party Youth Collective, occupying empty and abandoned buildings to demand fair housing rights, and setting up the first networks for women of color in Britain. Despite her powerful work, Olive Morris, like countless other Black women, has been left out of the telling of our history, until now! Join us live to talk about her legacy, and how Black women today can start to unite with our sisters abroad to get this liberation party really poppin’ off.


Day 6: Nina Simone

Posted by – June 08, 2020


Welcome to WEEK TWO!!

Queue the shouting music!! Five days of radical self-care is a victory. We are on our way. Please don't quit. Your testimonies this weekend were everything - you feel more alive, more focused, energized and you're getting healthier. We are with you every step of the way. So let's go. Today we hit the streets with one of the greatest artists of our time, Nina Simone!


Day 6: We are the #DaughtersOf Nina Simone

Did you know Nina's government name was Eunice Kathleen Waymon!?  Us either.  Here's the story.  She was at a nightclub singing, trying to protect her family's good name.  She started calling herself Nina and the rest is history. She became the voice of a generation - brave, uncompromising, raw.  She taught us to practice fearlessness and – in her very public battle with mental illness – she reminds us that genius is delicate and must be protected at all costs.  Join us as we honor this classical musician who wrote the book on soul. 


Day 5: Toni Morrison

Posted by – June 08, 2020


Happy Birthday, Breonna Taylor. On what would have been your 27th birthday, we #sayourname and we refuse to let the world exclude you from the conversation.

Welcome to day 5 of GirlTrek’s Black History Bootcamp.  As we celebrate the life of Breonna, we look to the words of literary giant Toni Morrison for comfort and direction. Toni Morrison refused to let Black women be invisible. Without apology she centered us in her work, writing about the Black experience with precision and beauty that was unmatched. She gave voice to our pain, our love, our loss, and our joys, and today we explore her life and look to the lessons she taught us.

Let today’s walk be a celebration of life. Come with your sadness and your rage and lay it down at the altar for just 30 minutes. Walk through the tightness and let the energy and the footsteps of the thousands of other Black women who will be walking with us, transform you.

Day 4: Georgia Gilmore

Posted by – June 07, 2020


Do the DAY 4 Body Roll!!!

She was rowdy, fun, and made the best pork chops in town.  Oh - and she single-handedly funded the Montgomery Bus Boycotts!  Let's get into it.  Today's walk is dedicated to the great Georgia Gilmore, a midwife, and mother of six.  After hearing of Rosa Parks' arrest, she started cooking, feeding our people, and raising record amounts of money for the movement.  With her new business, she hired Black drivers to carpool people to work during historic boycotts of the racist bus system.  We can't WAIT to celebrate this giant in self-determination on today's walk.

Day 4: We are the #DaughtersOf Georgia Gilmore 

Georgia Gilmore's story is exciting.  It's packed with lessons and deeply inspiring.  Take a walk with Morgan, Vanessa, and THOUSANDS of sisters who will talk about the power of ordinary women to make extraordinary change.

Grab your earbuds, grab your mask on, and be sure to practice all safety protocols on today's walk. 

Day 3: Shirley Chisholm

Posted by – June 04, 2020

Share   Share
Tweet   Tweet
Forward to Friend   Forward to Friend

It's day three!

Look. We have learned a thing or two from our mamas about turning pain into purpose. That's why as primary elections kicked off across the country yesterday, we decided to dig into the crates and pull out everything we know about the woman who dared to be the first Black woman in Congress and the first Black women to seek the nomination for President of the United States from a major party ticket, Ms. Shirley Anita St. Hill Chisholm. Today's Bootcamp is dedicated to her memory and everything that she taught us about being "Unbought and Unbossed." 


Day 3: We are the #DaughtersOf Shirley Chisholm  

Join Morgan, Vanessa, and THOUSANDS of sisters for a real, unfiltered conversation about service, sacrifice, and what we learned from Shirley Chisholm about finding healing while also doing the work.  

Grab your earbuds, grab your mask on, and be sure to practice all safety protocols on today's walk. 


Day 2: Ella Baker

Posted by – June 02, 2020


It's Day Two.  
You made it! Thank God. 10,000 new women joined our bootcamp overnight. Thank you for spreading the word. It's working. 

Listen ya'll:  We need this resistance training now!  Last night, the military was deployed on peaceful protestors.  So today, we are bringing out the GOAT...

ELLA JO BAKER, the greatest organizer in Black History. There would be no March on Washington, no Freedom Rides, no Selma without Ella Baker.  Today’s playlist is dedicated to her.  It includes a "stop playing with us" speech she gave in 1974 and 10 songs to hit the streets and remember where you came from.
  • (v.) To lace up our sneakers and walk each day as a declaration of self-care!
  • (v.) To heal our bodies, inspire our daughters, and reclaim the streets of our neighborhoods.
  • (v.) To reestablish walking as a healing tradition in Black communities as tribute to those who walked before us.
  • (n.) A health movement organized by volunteers across America to inspire one million by 2020.