Art work credited to Michael White
*This is part of a series showing undying support to the Movement for Black Lives, which consist of various activist groups & organizations, such as Black Lives Matter, actively fighting for black liberation and social mobility. We give thanks to Dream Defenders, Race Forward, Black Youth Project 100, Blackbird, Million Hoodies, OBS: the Organization for Black Struggle, Ferguson Action, Southerners on New Ground, Project South, and countless other collectives fighting against social and economic injustice:
The term “Social Justice Warrior” (SJW) has a negative connotation now. It’s usually applied to activists, online or on the ground, who use social activism as a means to raise their personal brand or reputation. Pejoratively calling an activist or a concerned student or a concern citizen a SJW is a tactic used to dismiss systemic racism.
But when there is 1.5 million missing black men, when black women are still unprotected, when racist housing policies prevent black social mobility, when the school-to-prison pipeline continues to entrap black children, when every aspect of black life is disrupted by the residual effects of American history, activists have no time to entertain or defend the term “Social Justice Warrior.”
Young activists are collectively forging their own path and solving socioeconomic issues. There are several methods to their activism. Through national and local organizations, you will find them on the frontline of marches, sparking social media campaigns, and pressuring presidential candidates. Darnell Moore, in an interview with DemocracyNow!, made a distinction for this modern day black liberation movement.
“I think it’s important to distinguish between Black Lives Matter network, which is, you know, a collective of chapters across the country, versus the Movement for Black Lives, which consists of Black Lives Matter, the network, and so many other contingencies.”
Since systemic racism is still disrupting black social mobility, activists are disrupting the complacency that keeps the system prospering.
Here are several young civil/ human rights activists who are using their platform, their passionate voice, marching feet, and social media presence to implement their list of demands for not only black liberation but to advance the relationship between the average American citizen and the state.
We’re missing a lot of people from this list. Consider it a small starter kit, in no particular order:
Alicia Garza @aliciagarza
Activist and writer, Director of Special Projects at the National Domestic Workers Alliance and co-founder of Black Lives Matter movement.
Opal Tometi @opalayo
Nigerian-American writer, strategist and community organizer. Co-founder of Black Lives Matter
Patrisse Cullors @osope
Artist and activist, one of the founders of the Black Lives Matter movement
Darnell Moore @Moore_Darnell
Writer and activist, Senior Correspondent at MicNews and Co-Managing/Editor at The Feminist Wire
DeRay Mckesson: @deray
DeRay Mckesson is an activist, organizer, and educator. He’s a member of the Movement for Black Lives and recently announced his candidacy to run for mayor of Baltimore.
Image credit: Sid Hastings/For Washington Post via Getty Images
Alexis Templeton and Brittany Ferrell: @bdoulaoblongata
Image Credit: Alexis Templeton (left) and Brittany Ferrell (right)
Franchesca Ramsey @chescaleigh
Comedian, activist, television and YouTube personality. Writer for The Nightly Show and star of MTV’s Decoded.
Ashley Yates: @brownblaze
Co-creator of Millennial Activists United
Image Credit: CNN
Shaun King: @shaunking
Senior Justice Writer at NYDailyNews/Activists. Founder of Justicetogether.org
Photo credit: Scott Wade
Juliana Pache @thecityofjules
Afro-Cuban/Dominican singer, writer behind #blacklatinxhistory
Photo Credit: Jamelle Bouie
Molly Greider: @mollyrosestl
Activist and Organizer very active in Ferguson
Asha Rosa @ashapoesis
New York: Asha Rosa is a member of the Students Against Mass Incarceration at Columbia University. She’s also a member of Black Youth Project 100.
Paul SFrosty Jackson: @sfrosty215
Philadelphia: Paul is a member of Philly Coalition for REAL Justice. He was part of the huge “Philly is Baltimore” march, featuring in the video below.
Some websites and organizations:
Another list of activists: “BOLD Organizing” released their 2015 list
article by Wilkine Brutus