african american activist


The bourgeoisie is fearful of the militancy of the Negro woman, and for good reason. The capitalists know, far better than many progressives seem to know, that once Negro women begin to take action, the militancy of the whole Negro people, and thus of the anti-imperialist coalition, is greatly enhanced.
(Claudia Jones. 1915-1965)

Claudia Jones, Daughters of Africa: An International Anthology of Words and Writings by Women of African Descent, ed. Margaret Busby (Vintage edition, 199), 262.

Lucy Hicks Anderson

Though she was assigned male at birth, when she entered school she began wearing dresses & calling herself Lucy. Physicians advised her mother to raise her as a girl. In a time, most people weren’t discussing gender identity or expression. They certainly didn’t have language like transgender to describe identity or the medical structure to support medical or legal transition. In 1944 she married Reuben Anderson, a soldier stationed at New York. She was charged with perjury because she was assigned male at birth. The belief was that she committed perjury when she signed the application for a marriage license .She was convicted and placed on probation for 10 years, successfully avoiding a prison sentence. During her perjury trial she was quoted for saying, “I defy any doctor in the world to prove that I am not a woman. I have lived, dressed, acted just what I am, a woman.” Lucy Hicks Anderson was a pioneer in the fight for marriage equality. She spent nearly sixty years living as a woman. And she made history by fighting for the legal right to be herself with the man she loved

Unita Blackwell (b. 1933) is the first African-American woman to be elected as mayor in the state of Mississippi. She is a civil rights activist who helped organize voters in the state.

She worked as a project director for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, as well as a community development specialist with the National Council of Negro Women, working on projects for low-income housing. As mayor of Mayersville, she secured funds for infrastructure and accommodation across the city.


Elaine Brown, Former Leader, Black Panther Party (The Summer of Love: How Hippies Changed the World)

“ I wanted to be white. Like so many black people do, but they’re not prepared to make that confession.”  

Regarding the above quote, I wasn’t sure if she meant just African Americans or if she had travelled all over the world and met many black people, and had projected her views onto them.  I can only speak for myself and say I have never wanted to be white.
What’s In Store For The Get Down Part 2?
The Get Down is set in the South Bronx in New York and revolves around these teens who change the city through their music, dance and…


For Shaolin, all his efforts in Part 2 are about keeping Zeke close to him and keeping The Get Down Brothers together. That’s his life, that’s his whole world, and he will do anything to keep what’s his. Because without Zeke and The Get Down Brothers, he’s all alone. And Shaolin can’t handle that.

[…]And YES, Dizzee isn’t the only character who is gay. Hopefully we’ll get to show that if we’re allowed to continue!

Everybody loves Regina! We love her too. She and Yolanda are definitely present in Part 2 and we learn more about them, but we will have to wait for Season Two to get some more substantial story lines for both of them.

There are characters who never made it into Season One who I would love to bring into Season Two. There is, for example, a charismatic African-American community activist named Kofi Quantay who could play a big role in Season 2. He’s like a Black Jesus, and he would bring more consciousness & street politics into the show. Also, I love all the supporting characters in Season One. I’d like to tell more about Boo Boo and Rah Rah. And Yolanda and Regina. And of course, if The Get Down Brothers continue to rise, there are a million great stories to incorporate that coincide with the birth of Hip Hop.



Bayard Rustin - The Gay Civil Rights Leader

Bayard Rustin was the heart and soul of the black civil rights movement in the United States, He was Martin Luther King Jr.s chef organizer, the pioneer of nonviolent resistance, and the man behind the march on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, during which Dr.King delivered his momentous and influential “I Have a Dream” speech. Rustin’s open homosexuality was contentious, and to this day his impact on the American landscape is all too often overlooked.

Mabel Hampton

Mabel Hampton was a famous African-American lesbian activist. She was a dancer in New York City in the 1920s, where she starred in all-black productions during the Harlem Renaissance. Mabel Hampton was in a romantic relationship with Lillian Foster, for 46 years until Foster’s death. 

On a meager income, she managed to make many financial contributions to many gay and lesbian organizations.  Hampton collected memorabilia, letters, and other records documenting her history, providing a window into the lives of black women and lesbians during the Harlem Renaissance. She left a legacy of invaluable archival materials to the Lesbian Herstory Archives. She also marched in the first National Gay and Lesbian March on Washington. Then in 1984, she spoke before thousands of onlookers at New York City Lesbian and Gay Pride Parade, where, she is quoted as saying, “I, Mabel Hampton, have been a lesbian all my life, for 82 years, and I am proud of myself and my people. I would like all my people to be free in this country and all over the world, my gay people and my black people.”

Mary Ann Shadd (1823-1893) was the first black female publisher in the United States, and the first female publisher in Canada. She was a devoted abolitionist, and also a journalist, teacher, and lawyer.

Fleeing from the United States under the threat of recapture for former slaves, she settled in Ontario and founded a racially integrated school. She then travelled around Canada and USA promoting full racial integration and education. From 1853, she ran an anti-slavery newspaper called The Provincial Freeman, which made her the first female African-American newspaper editor in North America.

What’s In Store For The Get Down Part 2?

Read under the ‘Keep Reading’ or on NerdyPOC’s Medium

The Get Down is set in the South Bronx in New York and revolves around these teens who change the city through their music, dance and graffiti. It gained popularity on Tumblr and Twitter after many had pointed out how a show full of diversity and incredible storytelling was being sidelined for shows that did not break the status quo. Many feared last year that due to the ratings not being as high as some of the other Netflix hits such as ‘Stranger Things’ that we wouldn’t get more episodes but that fear was dispelled when we got a trailer for Part 2 last week.

Keep reading

W. E. B. Du Bois, the African-American thinker and activist whose writings influenced generations of freedom fighters, was born on February 23 in 1868, 149 years ago. While nearly a century and a half has passed since Du Bois’ birth, many of his writings still feel as relevant today as they did in the early 20th century. Here are some quotes from Du Bois, coupled with our images of him from the Photographs and Prints Division at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture.

Ida B. Wells

Civil Rights Activist, Journalist (1862–1931)

Ida B. Wells was an African-American journalist and activist who led an anti-lynching crusade in the United States in the 1890s. 

Born a slave in 1862, Ida Bell Wells was the oldest daughter of James and Lizzie Wells. The Wells family, as well as the rest of the slaves of the Confederate states, were decreed free by the Union, about six months after Ida’s birth, thanks to the Emancipation Proclamation. However, living in Mississippi as African Americans, they faced racial prejudices and were restricted by discriminatory rules and practices. 

On one fateful train ride from Memphis to Nashville, in May 1884, Wells reached a personal turning point. Having bought a first-class train ticket to Nashville, she was outraged when the train crew ordered her to move to the car for African Americans, and refused on principle. As she was forcibly removed from the train, she bit one of the men on the hand. Wells sued the railroad, winning a $500 settlement in a circuit court case. However, the decision was later overturned by the Tennessee Supreme Court.

This injustice led Ida B. Wells to pick up a pen to write about issues of race and politics in the South. Using the moniker “Iola,” a number of her articles were published in black newspapers and periodicals. Wells eventually became an owner of the Memphis Free Speech and Headlight, and, later, of the Free Speech.

While working as a journalist and publisher, Wells also held a position as a teacher in a segregated public school in Memphis. She became a vocal critic of the condition of blacks only schools in the city. In 1891, she was fired from her job for these attacks. She championed another cause after the murder of a friend and his two business associates.

In 1892, three African-American men—Tom Moss, Calvin McDowell and Will Stewart—set up a grocery store in Memphis. Their new business drew customers away from a white-owned store in the neighborhood, and the white store owner and his supporters clashed with the three men on a few occasions. One night, Moss and the others guarded their store against attack and ended up shooting several of the white vandals. They were arrested and brought to jail, but they didn’t have a chance to defend themselves against the charges—a lynch mob took them from their cells and murdered them.

These brutal killings incensed Wells, leading to her write articles decrying the lynching of her friend and the wrongful deaths of other African Americans. Putting her own life at risk, she spent two months traveling in the South, gathering information on other lynching incidents. One editorial seemed to push some of the city’s whites over the edge. A mob stormed the office of her newspaper, destroying all of her equipment. Fortunately, Wells had been traveling to New York City at the time. She was warned that she would be killed if she ever returned to Memphis.

Staying in the North, Wells wrote an in-depth report on lynching in America for the New York Age, an African-American newspaper run by former slave T. Thomas Fortune. She lectured abroad in 1893, looking to drum up support for her cause among reform-minded whites. Upset by the ban on African-American exhibitors at the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition, Wells penned and circulated a pamphlet entitled “The Reason Why the Colored American Is Represented in the World’s Columbian Exposition.” This effort was funded and supported by famed abolitionist and freed slave Frederick Douglass, and lawyer and editor Ferdinand Barnett. Also in 1893, Wells published A Red Record, a personal examination of lynchings in America.

In 1898, Wells brought her anti-lynching campaign to the White House, leading a protest in Washington, D.C., and calling for President William McKinley to make reforms. 

Ida B. Wells established several civil rights organizations. In 1896, she formed the National Association of Colored Women. After brutal assaults on the African-American community in Springfield, Illinois, in 1908, Wells sought to take action: The following year, she attended a special conference for the organization that would later become known as the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. Though she is considered a founding member of the NAACP, Wells later cut ties with the organization; she explained her decision thereafter, stating that she felt the organization—in its infacy at the time she left—had lacked action-based initiatives.

Working on behalf of all women, Wells, as part of her work with the National Equal Rights League, called for President Woodrow Wilson to put an end to discriminatory hiring practices for government jobs. She created the first African-American kindergarten in her community and fought for women’s suffrage. In 1930, Wells made an unsuccessful bid for the state senate. Health problems plagued her the following year.

Ida B. Wells died of kidney disease on March 25, 1931, at the age of 68, in Chicago, Illinois. She left behind an impressive legacy of social and political heroism. With her writings, speeches and protests, Wells fought against prejudice, no matter what potential dangers she faced. She once said, “I felt that one had better die fighting against injustice than to die like a dog or a rat in a trap.”

Amandla Stenberg

Amandla is a nonbinary African-American and Danish-American activist, actor and singer. Amandla is known for their acting prowess in films and performances such as, Colombiana (2011),  The Hunger Games (2012),  Sleepy Hollow (2013), As You Are (2016), and Beyoncé: Lemonade (2016).

Amandla Stenberg was born on October 23, 1998 in Los Angeles, California to parents Karen Brailsford and Tom Stenberg. Amandla’s name means power and strength in Zulu and Xhosa. At the age of four, Amandla made their public debut when they were featured in a Disney catalog and went on to star in numerous commercials for brands including McDonald’s and Walmart.

Amandla made a transition into film in 2010 when they began filming the action-thriller Colombiana (2011). Since then they have demonstrated an innate ability to capture the hearts of viewers worldwide. For their role as Rue in The Hunger Games (2012), Amandla was nominated for an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture. Amandla is also a talented musician and can play the violin, drums and guitar. In 2013 Amandla began performing violin and singing at venues across Los Angeles. Later the same year, they dropped their self titled EP.

Amandla Stenberg is a voice for young, Black, and LGBT millennials. Amandla is passionate about fair and diverse representation evidenced by their viral video “Don’t Cash Crop My Cornrows” which unpacked the baggage of cultural appropriation. Amandla was invited to the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Foundation to participate in the dedication ceremony where they paid tribute to the four young girls who were killed in the tragic Birmingham church bombing. Amandla is one of the most brilliant and outspoken actors of their generation. They take a multimedia approach to activism using film, social media, and music to bring more diversity in media, to build safer spaces, and to create more political agency for all people.

Dazed Magazine called Amandla Stenberg “one of the most incendiary voices of [their] generation.” Time Magazine named Amandla one of the 30 Most Influential Teens of 2015 and again in 2016. They have been interviewed by Solange Knowles for Teen Vogue and have been deemed an “icon of change” by ELLE UK. Oprah Winfrey recognized Amandla’s work and invited them to talk about authenticity in activism for Super Soul Sunday. Amandla is also the recipient of the BET Awards’ Young Stars Award. They have also been named Feminist Celebrity of the Year by the Ms. Foundation for Women. Amandla is a youth ambassador for No Kid Hungry and supports the Ubuntu Education Fund.

Factions of the Democratic Party

Sequel to my Post in Factions in the REpublican party, Factions in the Democratic Party Ok so last time I went over the factions of the Republican Party, lets do the same for the democrats.  Two things to understand first that are critically.  Firstly like with the GOP, I am not talking about the Centrists who are part of the party, even though they are a major element.  The centrists are basically an entirely separate party who due to the two party system split themselves between the Dems and the Reps, and are sort of their own thing, but know that especially among the leadership of the Dems there are a lot of centrists which is where Clinton fell as a leader on the political spectrum, I am more talking about the main democratic base just like I was with the Republicans.  Secondly,  a big difference between the democrats and Republicans is that the democrats are more a collection of core interest voters, each of whom has a certain topic which is “there” core issue.  There are fully formed ideologies in the Democrats but they don’t really vote on those, while in the Republican party the seven factions are roughly speaking seven fully formed ideologies, who reluctantly work together.  This will be more important I swear. So what are the interest groups of the Democratic Party?

    The Civil Rights Faction

     Those who prioritize Civil Rights.  These are the people who are marginalized and oppressed groups within the US and want to fight back against systemic oppression. Women, African Americans, Latinos, Asians, Native Americans, Jews, Muslim, GSM, the disabled, and any other group who have historically been targeted by bigotry and hate make up this faction.  As you can tell that is a wide variety of people and they are not really united, I mean go unto any Social Justice forum and you will see African American activists being sexist, Feminists being transphobic, Gay men being nasty to gay women (and both to bisexuals), Transgendered people being Islamophobic, Muslim hating Jews and via versa etc etc.  

      But in the last decade has lead to a far greater sense of shared identity among these various groups, they fight and they squabble and many reject the notion of having anything in common, and many are bigots among them but we’ve been seeing more and more people give at least lip service on all or almost all of the issues, which is why I am counting them as a single voting bloc.  Or rather, when we are up against the Republican Party they are a single voting bloc, because the GOP has made it its business to target…all of those groups and so among people who identify strong with these groups, they tend to serve as a single faction.  When I say identify btw, I mean that they understand they are an oppressed group and make voting decisions based on that choice.  As this election showed, not all women come out and vote based on gender issues, not all Latinos vote based on racial issues, not all gay men vote based upon homphobia ect.  But many do, and for good reasons because one party is trying to kill them and the other is mostly content to say how sad it is as they die, so among all of these groups you have identity factions trying to protect their lives, and during election years they tend to come together and vote as a bloc. 

        They care primarily about hate crimes, the rise of the Alt Right, BLM and other examples of police brutality, Stop and Frisk, Immigration reform, an insensitive and uncaring media that treats them like spoiled children because they don’t care much for being abused regularly, completely segregated and unfair school system, anti welfare policies aimed at screwing them over, a totally unrepresentative entertainment industry that thrives on offensive negative stereotypes, a chunk of the country that seems to think women having control over their own bodies and Gay people wanting to get married is somehow something to be contested over, and of course an internet culture that basically sees the existence of free speech means that it is their duty to make these already oppressed people miserable every minute of every day.  Also keeping the Republicans out of power because the Republicans have made it clear they want to kill these people just to watch them die.   

     Class Advocates

 The second group are the old founders of the modern democratic Party, people who care about class.  These are ex union workers, the lower classes, working classes and increasingly the middle class.  They aren’t all white, but the majority of them are, and they know full well they are getting fucked over by the current state of the country.  They are furious primarily at the wealth gap, declining wages, lobbying in politics, these horrible trade deals that seem to exist to fuck them over, the total lack of political oversight on corporate shadiness, the total breakdown of welfare, the constant threat to Social Security/Medicare/Madicaid, the total lack of a reasonable healthcare policy, the fact that Wall street basically wasn’t punished for the crash, the low Corporate Tax rate, the rising wealth gap, the slow death of the middle class, right to work states, our broken infrastructure, and lobbying, seriously these guy really hate lobbying.  Some of them defected to Trump during the election in a few Rust Belt States.   

     The Anti War Faction

 Then we have the anti war people, who really want the War on Terror to end and have been spending the last 15 years in a constant state of endless sadness.  They want to reduce the war, they want to cease torture, they want to close Gitmo, they want to want to stop supporting coups abroad, they want nuclear disarmament, and they want to ratchet down tensions with the rest of the world.  The thing they really want is for us to rethink our relationship to Israel and Saudi Arabia.  These guys never get what they want and live in a state of constant sadness.   

      The Environmentalists 

 Then we have the environmentalists who want us all not to die from Climate Change.  Their primary goal is for us not to die from climate change, and likely because we never listen to them, we are all going to die from Climate Change, thanks Baby Boomers thanks a lot.   

      Civil Liberties

 And finally the people who want to defend Civil Liberties, they think that the 1st and 4th amendment have taken a beating that needs to be corrected, they want a non corporate owned Press, they want to curtail the power of the CIA and NSA, they want greater government openness and government accountability, they want to have more accountability for government screw ups and they want to end the War on Drugs.   Oh and also everybody on this list would like Prison Reform, College Reform, and Public Education reform.   Now you might notice something looking at all of these groups, none of them have really gotten much of their core demands met since 1980, or at all, because again the Democratic Party is not actually led by leftists, its led by Centrists who have a different sent of priorities than the liberals.  


     All five of these factions feel like they aren’t ever heard, like the main power centers ignore them and don’t take them seriously, like they are constantly fighting against society at large, and every day things get worse for their interest. And they are correct because Reaganism and Neoliberalism have really fucked over the Left.  Also notice something important, Hillary Clinton doesn’t belong to any of these groups, because she is in the Centrist Group, within the Civil Rights the Feminists mostly like her but mostly because they want somebody to finally break the glass ceiling but that is about it, none of these groups were really having their interests met by either Clinton or Kaine.   But looking at these groups you will notice…they don’t contradict.  You can care about the death of the middle class, systemic oppression, the environment, opposing the war abroad, and NSA overreach without any ideological contradiction, which simply isn’t true of the Republicans.  Jingoism, Libertarianism, Alt Right, Know Nothing Nationalism, Conservatism, the Religious Right and the Bushiness Party all actively contradict each other and if it wasn’t for the two party system they would basically fall apart.  That just isn’t true for the Democrats, and that is why our infighting still hasn’t gotten to the level of vitriol that you see on the right.  It is also why they turn out up vote more, the GOP base (not its leaders its base) is more ideological than us, and so if they feel like their ideology is dying out, they commit themselves fully. If the Left actually unified for once in their life and put aside those difference, we could basically emerge victorious because if the five factions worked in tandem we would win over a lot of republicans and independents, and between these five groups you have a majority of the country, and in particular among the youth.  As the elder population starts to die off, these views will become more and more mainstream, we just need to harness that energy in the meantime.