We Are Women Hear Us Roar! {Recap}

On January 14, 2017, American political activist, academic scholar, and an author, Angela Davis was the keynote speaker at the First Congregational Church.  Participants motivated by music and by a Black Lives Matter energized youth rap song enjoyed a delicious dinner catered by world renowned Chef Gary of DeJavu Restaurant. The Mid-South Peace and Justice Center event was sold out for its 35th anniversary.

Ms. Tami Sawyer introduced Davis who graced the stage with poise and confidence. The words of wisdom enlightened everyone in the standing room only room church. She discussed the continual struggle of fighting for social justice.  Listening to Davis, one might have thought they were in a college classroom experiencing education on the importance of knowing the real history of the demise of Dr. King’s and his birthday becoming a holiday for retailers to capitalize rather than a remembrance of his legacy. She concluded with the unsettling reality of our need to resist the Trump Administration.

Many women and organizations attended this event.  Davis’ appearance motivated the many women and set the tone for the rest of the week in Memphis, TN.  Invigorated with the words of encouragement from Davis’ dinner, several Black Lives Matter Memphis leaders and members joined CORR {Commission on Religion and Racism} and participated in the annual Dr. King March on Monday, January, 18.

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Dr. Issac Richmond hosted a brief dialogue in which several organizations unified and strategize with unions and citizens on the Auction Block where slaves were once sold.   BLM’s national day of action occurred throughout the country and was headed by the new Movement For Black Lives to “Reclaim MLK Day.” The parade was one one of the largest in years and concluded in front of the National Civil Rights Museum with BLMM members doing a die-in.  This silent protest was to bring awareness to the systematic oppression that we as a group continue to face in a city with our youth dying daily and the need to fight white supremacy which cripples us as a society.  The “Reclaim MLK” die-in concluded with Homecare/Fight For 115 organizer Jayanni Webster, leading the Assata Shakur chant. “We Have Nothing to Lose but Our Chains” the women roared, and the crowd applauded.

Friday, January 22, 2017, Donald Trump was sworn in as the new president of the USA.  During the inauguration, BLM urged viewers not to watch the inauguration or even put their televisions on the channel, all while students at  Lemoyne-Owen College, Rhodes College, Christian Brothers University, and the University of Memphis dissented to his legitimacy of the presidency by walking out of their classes. This student rise up was a silent protest to reiterate the disapproval of Trump and his the views in which he vehemently promotes, misogyny, Islamophobia, racism, and hatred.  The “Student Rise Ups” ended in expression rallies standing in solidarity to resist Trump for the next 4 years.

Saturday, January 23, 2017, one day after the United States of America saw its 45th president be sworn into office, women from all over the world stood in solidarity to make their voices heard amplifying solidarity with all disenfranchised groups in which Trump intends to target.  In Memphis, several organizations {Together We Can, Moms Demand Action, Campaign Non-Violence, aligned with Black Lives Matter Memphis, came together for the Women’s March.  Only 2500 participants were expected, but over 9000 attended. The march began at the Judge D’Army Bailey courthouse.  Whiled gathered the wife of the late Judge Bailey offered inspiring words to the inspired crowd.  Her son stood beside her with his black power fist high in the air in front of the crowd of women and men who stood in solidarity with women’s rights.

The women’s march organized by dedicated women who acted as marshalls and peacekeepers made signs and medical, illustrated how effective women can me when they work together. Black Lives Matter Memphis participated in this event because black women are the most disrespected group of people in America.  It is necessary that all women mobilize to overcome this fact.  While walking down Mainstreet chants could be heard, “What do we do when women’s rights are under attack? Stand up and Fight Back!” Children and babies could also be seen in strollers holding signs smiling and cooing in total amazement that they were amongst history in Memphis.  During this march, the energy of love, compassion, peace, and dedication flowed through the mean streets of Memphis.  Women wearing pink ear hats stood up for each other regardless of race, gender, religion or socioeconomic background. Unity would be the best word to describe herstory on this day amongst all the signs that shared a specific viewpoint ultimately to RESIST Trump.   The girl power could not be denied, and we were all in formation.

On Tuesday,  January 24, 2017, Moveon.org and Black Lives Matter Memphis hosted a rally at the Clifford Davis Federal Courthouse.  Greeted by helicopters, 2 mobile sky cops, and police on motorcycles the intimidation tactics were in full effect.  The 50 plus group of professionals and registered voters who wanted to voice their concerns about Trump’s Swamp Cabinet were stopped by Homeland Security and told that only 4 people could enter the federal building at a time and they had to be escorted to and from Senator Lamar Alexander’s Office.

Alexander’s staff, Mr. Connoly, was informed before the rally began that we wanted to voice our concerns. He told BLM organizer P. Moses that they would be going to lunch at 11:45 am and return at 1:15 pm. Unlike Senator Bob Corker he did not welcome his constituents in his public office.  The lack of transparency prompted heavy skepticism as to the fitness of Senator Alexander, and a few members pledged to come back every week. Others offered to start vetting new candidates to run against him in the next election.  Alexander has held public office almost 40 years and rarely makes a public appearance in which his constituents have access.  The group began chanting at the Homeland Security officer, “This is what Democracy Looks Like, Come Out Lamar” who then instructed the citizens not to block the sidewalk.

The group concurred Alexander has lost touch with the people and the Republican guru needs to go.  Several members waited “four-at-a-time” outside the 70-degree heat and were eventually greeted by a kind black secretary who wrote all their concerns down but obviously was not in control. She had been delegated the duty of dealing with the constituents, whom the aide had apparently assumed were all black but were not. In spite of the phone ringing off the hook, she handled the situation the best she could.  The women of Memphis TN with encouragement and a pledge of unity set the city on fire this week and promised that this is just the beginning and that this is not a moment but a movement. We Are Women, HEAR US ROAR! #blm #blmm #moveon #womenmarch #womenroar

 

 

Fourteen Year Old Charged With Cyber-harassment and Ethnic Intimidation

We Hold These Truths To Be Self-Evident

(Cross posted from Flightattendantfailures)

After an approximate 3-month investigation, a 14-year-old Northampton, PA student has been charged with cyber harassment and ethnic intimidation.  The 14-year old took a video of a 16-year old student eating lunch and posted it on Snapchat.  The 14-year old is White.  The 16-year old is Black.

Northampton County District Attorney, John Morganelli, said of the video;

“I reviewed the video today and I find it to be highly offensive and reprehensible. It depicts the 16-year-old minding his own business eating chicken wings while the 14-year-old records him and narrates it by describing the scene as ‘a N-word eating chicken.’

“The video demeans the 16-year-old with numerous uses of the N-word and references to being broke and on welfare. As bad as that is, the 14-year-old published the offensive video on social media including Snapchat that was viewed by numerous students as well as the 16-year-old male…

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