On the cover of TIME Magazine’s special February edition is a faceless white man behind bars. At first glance, I assumed this was an issue about millionaires and billionaires who deserve jail time for getting over on society, but after a double take I saw that it is actually about wrongful convictions, celebrating 25 years of the Innocence Project.
State violence does not only show up as false arrests and physical harm. State violence is also the unwillingness of the State to rehabilitate those that are impacted by it’s terrorizing reach.
Today is International Women’s Day. This is a time when we should be looking for ways to implement ideology and action into our lives that expands our definitions of womanhood and feminism while pushing us all to aware of the work that women are doing to secure more justice. Black women, in particular, have been doing this work for generations.
This list of books, ideas, and organization offers a step in that direction.
We are lucky to have people that walk through life challenging the world around them with each step. Writer and artist Hari Ziyad is one of those people, challenging the norms that whiteness has established for how we identify ourselves. Hari’s work has been featured in various publications, including Black Youth Project, where they are a contributing writer, and RaceBaitR, an online publication they have created.
Many of our Black history idols have been immortalized for their work against racism carried out by whites, from the federal government on down. They have been applauded for their magical strengths and abilities to overcome insurmountable odds. Their legacies are contextualized through brief chapters in k-12 history classes, where examples of racism are narrowed down to physical harm and explicit parameters that describe what Black people could and couldn’t do “a long time ago”. As a result, many of us were socialized to understand Black history in a way that has been whitewashed or sanitized. The stories we are fed as young people that immortalized, or mainstreamed, our Black figures of inspiration conveniently left out important details, such as the anti-capitalist leanings of their work.
We are in a time where need the full story of the experiences and perspectives of our ancestors, and we need to reclaim those radical beliefs so that we can create space for true progress not just against racism, but also against capitalism.
The look and feel of movements for justice and equity are changing thanks to social media’s ability to spread messages and create access to information, resources, and actions. Pushing these limits of social media use are young people of color and their networks (the ignition of #BlackLivesMatter is an example), as this group finds different ways to spread messages focusing on the things they care about. In this way, communication and movement building tie together by tightly spreading information that can’t as easily be hidden, whitewashed, or ignored. Thus, these young people are creating a digital toolbox for justice.
The current political moment requires that young, socially-savvy people lead on issues of gendered oppression, racism, education inequality, and many other issues facing marginalized groups.
In this way, communication and movement building tie together tightly spreading information that can’t as easily be hidden, white washed, or ignored and creating a digital tool box for justice. Project NIA and The Barnard Center for Research on Women have added a resource to this toolbox, aimed at helping you respond to situations of violence on individual and systemic levels.
At 19 years old, Jalil Muntaqim (Anthony Bottom) became a political prisoner within the United States “justice” system after being charged and convicted for the killing of two police officers in New York. As a member of the Black Panther Party and the Black Liberation Army, Muntaqim was a target of COINTELPRO. He has been in prison for 46 years.
On May 13, 1985, Philadelphia city leadership and the Philadelphia Police Department carried out an attack on a group of Black radical individuals and families, bombing and killing 11 people – including 5 children. The group was the MOVE organization, founded by John Africa and emphasizes family and our life’s connection to nature – the attack was carried out after years of mounting tensions between the police and MOVE.
There are a number of things in this world we cannot measure with metrics, time, or money making it difficult to account for their effectiveness or worth – allyship has always been one of those things. When it comes to allies, there are more questions around their purpose and usefulness than there are answers. Enter the Safety Pin Box, countering everything allies thought their role actually was.