Above image: Ashley Yates (Ferguson activist), Elaine Brown (former chairman of the Black Panther Party and activist), Maya Odei (WCC Herstory Month coordinator), Claire Robinson (WCC intern).
Black Women’s Liberation on Feb. 5th, 2016 with Elaine Brown and Ashley Yates was easily the best event that I’ve attended on campus all year. Many discussions on campus can be a good way to draw in folks who are not already aware of social justice issues. However, as a person who thinks about systems of oppression, diversity, etc. almost daily, I have difficulty finding events at which I truly learn something new, or even at which old information is presented in a novel or interesting way.
One subject that Elaine addressed was respectability. She preached that we as a black community must embrace “Shaniqua”, the young mother on welfare who has not received much formal schooling. Rather than being classist and looking down on “Shaniqua” (especially, Elaine reminded us, considering that we don’t have any real wealth relative to those in power), we must include her in our fight for liberation. There was much much more but I’ll end with this, thank you Black House for spearheading such an amazing event. Thank you Elaine and Ashley for being completely unapologetic in your fight against racism and other forms of oppression.