30 Days of Activism: Week 1
May 1: BYP Chapter Meeting
May 2: Nothing
May 3: National Day of Action #SayHerName Call
May 4: Nothing
May 5: Read Black Power: The Politics of Liberation
May 6: Attended Assata’s Daughters Badge Ceremony and donated*
May 7: Nothing
I have challenged myself to participate in some form of activism for 30 days in this month of May. This challenge was harder than I anticipated, but I’ve still got most of the month left to keep trying. What I’ve learned from this first week is about the commitment levels to activism needed to make change.
I work a 9-5 job like most people and have a 3-year old daughter; I have a full time life just like everyone else. I understand how easy it is to not have time to do activism or to find interest in it. In the case of Black Activism, it’s like once you’re aware of injustice it’s hard to sit quiet or not acknowledge other injustices moving forward. For me, once I started getting involved in student activism in college it was hard for me to turn a blind eye even after I graduated. But as I got older and my life developed into what it is, I realized I didn’t have the time to spend organizing and planning like I used to and that took a toll on me.
I recall learning in school the symbolism behind money being equated to luxury and free time. When I think about activism and the time commitment it takes, all of the dots begin to connect: by keeping Black people (and people of color) without the means to actually fight against not having the means in the first place, The Powers That Be win. Kathleen Cleaver spoke about this in her public lecture a few weeks back as well. She told us stories of how Panthers would live together and one month one person would pay the rent while the others’ organized and then they would rotate; it takes economics and economic power to make activism work.
After long days during the week, when I had gone to work and then spent the remainder of the night in mommy-mode, it was hard for me find the energy and interest in doing something to stretch my mind and think about the community. But upon reflection, that also pushed me to continue with this challenge I’ve assigned to myself. My hope is that through this challenge I can find ways to implement and participate in activism within my own capacity and inspire others to do the same.
We live in an era now where the avenues to justice are diverse, we just have to figure out which ones work best for us to take.
*For transparency, I did not include "and donated" for a pat on the back. As stated in this post, we need finances to continue our work in the many forms and fashions it comes in and donating to these groups and contributing is a form of participation in my eyes.