Today, I spent 12 hours listening, talking, thinking, and learning about present day activism. With today only being pre-conference, it was amazing to think of how inspiring and energetic the rest of the week would be. We defined black girl magic, strategized how to weave activism into the classroom, considered the transformation of women’s studies over the past 20-40 years, and discussed activism in the era of the 45th. The final kick off for the national women’s studies association conference was a keynote presentation with Alicia Garza and Angela Davis.
Seeing as I promise a new post every Thursday night, please excuse typos and I now have exactly 12 minutes to tell you 12 commonalities during the meets. I will expand next week once the conference as ended.
Self love/ care: minorities (of color, ableness, gender, etc.) Often do not see self love and care modeled within their community. As Angela Davis even commented, activists during her time spent their time solely on the movement and often making sacrifices when it came to food, family, etc. For black women, this is even more important in that we have this super woman stereotype/ weight on our shoulders to take care of everyone before ourselves.
Visibility: this is a challenge for many minorities and radicals. Finding a way to give voice to the marginalized and muted becomes challenging. However social media hashtags have helped bring life to things like black girl magic and black lives matter. However, many of the older feminist worry that there’s no substance in the hashtag/ trendy.
Art and words as tools: they’re in conversation with those who craft to give visuals to the movement.
Interdisciplinary: we have to remember that everything is interconnect. One teacher taught her science class by teaching them about Harriet Tubman!
Intersectionality: not the same as multi cultural. It’s recognizing different aspects of a person’s identity. For example, black and woman, and the life experience from that.
Freedom seekers: as opposed to saying slaves or the oppressed, positive word choice is a more acquire depiction of those groups.
Personality: you have to bring yourself to the space. Instead of coming in and trying to blend in, don’t be afraid to be yourself.
Context: learn your history… The world’s history answers so many questions for us.
Politics: our whole life is political. And it’s not about parties anymore, but what people stand for and what we’ll continue to accept or discard.
Comfort: real change comes from discomfort. Alicia Garza talked about how she’ll have meetings about things that matter and watch those on the opposite side get uncomfortable. “But I kinda just like watching them squirm… They act like it’s something new. We’ve been here the whole time, you just chose not to see us.”
Humility: Angela Davis reminded us of the importance of being Hubble enough to not be so ego centric and learn from the world. We don’t always have to be the first to speak. We need to listen more and learn from the successes of others.
Raising hell: Y’all… Davis, “if you don’t do the work, there will be no change. Now on the other hand, there’s no guarantee of change if you do the work. So work as if it’s going to change.”