We at The Root are honored to have Patrisse Cullors as guest editor today on our site. Cullors is an artist, organizer and freedom fighter. She is the founder of Dignity and Power Now, co-founder of #BlackLivesMatter, and director of truth and reinvestment at the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights. Her Facebook page says she's 'in a relationship' with Harriet Tubman, her spiritual link to the iconic historical figure is so strong.
The movement for black lives has become a national conversation online, offline and even on the campaign trail heading into 2016. With her creative sensibilities as an artist, writer and thought leader, we could think of no person better than Cullors, an essential and inspirational person, to take over our site for the day as we approach the one-year anniversary of Michael Brown's death and Ferguson, Mo.'s tragic events.
Here is Cullors on Ferguson:
On Aug. 9, the entire world was forced to open its eyes to the level of hatred and racism that still exists inside America's borders. Night after night we witnessed the ferocity of St. Louis and Ferguson protesters challenge their local law enforcement, all while being teargassed and rubber-bulleted. The #BlackLivesMatter movement has been one of the most vibrant, courageous and beautiful moments I have been able to be witness to and participant of, and it's such an honor to be alive during this time to help usher in a new generation of leadership. We are in a state of emergency and we all must act on behalf of saving black lives.
She has brought to The Root three powerful voices from the movement: Bree Newsome, a community organizer in Charlotte, N.C., works with several organizations, including the Tribe, Ignite NC and the local NAACP chapter; Newsome made headlines recently when she took down the Confederate flag in Columbia, S.C. Janaya Khan, known as Future in the Black Lives Matter movement, is a black, queer, gender-nonconforming activist, staunch Afrofuturist, social-justice educator and boxer based in Toronto; as the co-founder of Black Lives Matter Toronto, they are committed to black liberation, transformative justice and indigenous sovereignty and operate through a black transfeminist lens. Tanya Lucia Bernard is a Los Angeles-based organizer and fine artist. She’s a testament to the fact that “black” and “Latino” are not mutually exclusive terms.