Tarana Burke, Creator of the #MeToo Movement, on the Story You Haven’t Heard
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If you were one of the millions who watched the Times Square ball drop on New Year’s Eve, you probably saw Tarana Burke. She was the woman who pressed the iconic drop button that signaled the ball’s descent and carried the country into a new year. Or maybe you’ve seen her face in the feature spread of Time’s Person of the Year issue, where she was celebrated for ushering the nation into a powerful conversation about sexual violence.

If you’ve never seen her face, you’ve definitely seen her work: Tarana Burke is the creator of the #MeToo movement, and for the last quarter of 2017, she has received attention, awards and praise for her work. She has become, in her words “a Black History fact,” lauded in headline after headline as “the black woman who started #MeToo.” But Tarana doesn’t actually see herself in those headlines. She believes many of them have missed the point, erasing her and the decade of work that she put in long before white actresses elevated the hashtag to the mainstream. That stops now.

In 2018, she is determined to bring the focus and attention back to what she originally envisioned: healing. In this interview, for the first time ever, we get to hear Tarana Burke’s real story about the #MeToo movement, and the black girls and women who started it all. She also talks about the danger of the hashtag, why she feels she and the movement have been misrepresented in the media, and the powerful words she wants to tell survivors today.

Follow Tarana Burke on Twitter and Instagram. Visit the Me Too Movement website here.

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  • Savannah

    What’s the name of the song playing in the beginning of the podcast? Thanks in advance!

  • TheRanta

    I’m all about content over form (and this is damn good content) but “that signaled the ball’s decent” needs to be fixed. It’s “descent”.

    • Kate Barnett

      Good eye — thank you!

      • TheRanta

        Sure — I’m not a fan of grammar/spelling douches, but felt like the content was too important to be sidetracked by an easy fix!

  • Monica M

    Thank you for this conversations!!

  • I love that Ms. Burke is getting more recognition for her amazing work! Very well deserved!

  • Diana Castella

    Does the #MeToo movement help a teacher that was terminated the day after she saved the life of her student? Does the #Metoo movement stand behind a teacher that was retaliated after speaking up and being the voice for her student? This happened to me and a teacher should never be terminated for speaking up and saving the life of her student. The student thanked me and felt the weight of the world had been lifted off her shoulders. And the next day I was terminated. I also helped put the perpetrator in prison yet I was terminated from my teaching position for being the voice of my student.

    • Chad Guess

      You’re not black

  • Torsten Andersen

    assure this woman don’t worry about being lost, – her cause – she’s in a field of flowers. All good things blossom after they grow.