I remember when I discovered my power. My power to speak up and speak out for what I consider to be injustice. I like to think that this power I possess is based on timing. You see I was born in 1969. There was a war going on in Vietnam and we were protesting it. There was a riot going on in New York City at the Stone Wall Inn and there were a bunch of Hippies gathering in Woodstock, NY. 1969 was a powerful year. African-Americans were realizing freedoms that were afforded at the end of the Civil Rights Movement and we were still mourning the assassination of a King. I am pretty sure I was born for this.
I am the daughter of greatness. My dad was a protester and my mom a fighter. They did not walk through back doors and would hold their thirst until they got home to avoid drinking from the colored only fountain. I am not sure I have what it takes to be passive about anything, especially when my passions have been stirred and so when I see injustice take place, it is difficult to bite my tongue.
As an African-American woman who happens to be a Lesbian, how can I be at peace with a Transgender human being degraded. As a human with access to clean water, how can I not feel pain when a city a few hours away from me has water coming through the faucet that cannot even be utilized for bathing? As a brown skinned woman with a big mouth, how can I not be pained by seeing a brown skinned girl get slammed to the ground by a police officer because she had a verbal confrontation with a peer? I cannot understand a White Gay man who has been discriminated against because of who he loves, having the audacity to be cold towards discrimination against African-Americans and other minorities. I cannot comprehend a straight Black man being cold towards the LGBTQ community, after everything African-Americans had to go through to get a handful of rights…A fight that continues. How can we feel free if our neighbor is not free? How can we peacefully exist in a world where as we speak, there are laws being passed to further degrade another human being?
We cannot pretend that freedom exist until it exist for everyone. We must utilize our power to speak, to write, to protest…to fight!
Until we are all free, none of us are free!