BlackLivesMatter: The Young Woman Behind the Hashtag

BlackLivesMatter: The Young Woman Behind the Hashtag

The recent killings of black people, particularly our boys and men, charged what many are calling a modern day civil rights movement. What’s a positive observation you’ve noticed about the younger generations and their investment in justice?

We are seeing the connection between state sanctioned violence and structural racism, and making the links with gender in ways that are incredibly important. This generation wants freedom for all of us, not just some of us. Black men and boys are being targeted, but how do we understand that in relationship to black women being the fastest growing prison population? Finally, we’re not just fighting for manhood—we’re fighting for personhood and our right to determine that.

Where do you see room for improvement in our millennials’ fight for social justice and equality?

I think too much time is spent calling out millennials for what we could be doing better, instead of celebrating the ways in which millennials and younger generations are showing up and shaping this moment. First we lament that millennials are apathetic, and then when folks get active and stay active, we talk about what could be done better.

I think for all of us, millennials and the older generations, could be doing a better job at connecting the dots. There’s still too much fragmentation happening into issues rather than really looking at the complexity of who we are as people.

In honor of Women’s History Month, if you could have dinner with any female activist, dead or alive, and strategize a plan for world peace and human equality, what meal would you pick and who would you eat with?

This question is awesome. I would eat with Harriet Tubman because she built a network of people across the country who ushered our people to freedom. We would eat something healthy, delicious and harvested because Mama Harriet would want us to take care of ourselves so that we could be in this fight together for the long haul.