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Black Experiences

Angela Davis: A Disrupter and Activist for Change

"Over the next months and years we will be called upon to intensify our demands for social justice to become more militant in our defense of vulnerable populations. Those who still defend the supremacy of white male hetero-patriarchy had better watch out."

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Art by Cy Clio

For Black History Month, Salty will be sharing iconic written works from history by black feminists. We wanted to share this speech by Angela Davis, an active black activist, author, and educator given at the historic Women’s March in 2017. Angela is known for her books such as Women, Race & Class, her political involvement with the Black Panthers and the Community Party, and for her imprisonment and trial which landed her on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitive List. She currently is a professor at University of California, Santa Cruz and still works to advocate for gender equity, prison abolition, and social efforts that create engaged and educated communities.

“At a challenging moment in our history, let us remind ourselves that we the hundreds of thousands, the millions of women, trans people, men and youth who are here at the Women’s March, we represent the powerful forces of change that are determined to prevent the dying cultures of racism, hetero-patriarchy from rising again.

We recognize that we are collective agents of history and that history cannot be deleted like web pages. We know that we gather this afternoon on indigenous land and we follow the lead of the first peoples who despite massive genocidal violence have never relinquished the struggle for land, water, culture, their people. We especially salute today the Standing Rock Sioux. The freedom struggles of black people that have shaped the very nature of this country’s history cannot be deleted with the sweep of a hand.

We cannot be made to forget that black lives do matter. This is a country anchored in slavery and colonialism, which means for better or for worse the very history of the United States is a history of immigration and enslavement. Spreading xenophobia, hurling accusations of murder and rape and building walls will not erase history.

No human being is illegal.

The struggle to save the planet, to stop climate change, to guarantee the accessibility of water from the lands of the Standing Rock Sioux, to Flint, Michigan, to the West Bank and Gaza. The struggle to save our flora and fauna, to save the air – this is ground zero of the struggle for social justice.

This is a women’s march and this women’s march represents the promise of feminism as against the pernicious powers of state violence. An inclusive and intersectional feminism that calls upon all of us to join the resistance to racism, to Islamophobia, to antisemitism, to misogyny, to capitalist exploitation.

-Angela Davis

Yes, we salute the fight for 15. We dedicate ourselves to collective resistance.

Resistance to the billionaire mortgage profiteers and gentrifiers.

Resistance to the healthcare privateers.

Resistance to the attacks on Muslims and on immigrants.

Resistance to attacks on disabled people.

Resistance to state violence perpetrated by the police and through the prison-industrial complex.

Resistance to institutional and intimate gender violence, especially against trans women of color.

Women’s rights are human rights all over the planet and that is why we say freedom and justice for Palestine. We celebrate the impending release of Chelsea Manning. And Oscar López Rivera. But we also say free Leonard Peltier. Free Mumia Abu-Jamal. Free Assata Shakur.

Over the next months and years we will be called upon to intensify our demands for social justice to become more militant in our defense of vulnerable populations. Those who still defend the supremacy of white male hetero-patriarchy had better watch out.

The next 1,459 days of the Trump administration will be 1,459 days of resistance: resistance on the ground, resistance in the classrooms, resistance on the job, resistance in our art and in our music.

This is just the beginning and in the words of the inimitable Ella Baker: ‘We who believe in freedom cannot rest until it comes.’

Thank you.”


Clio Cy is a queer non-binary (they/them) writer and artist whose work primarily focuses on identity, technology, sex, relationships, and intersections therein. They spend way to much time crying and plotting an eventual move to NYC. Their creative work can be viewed at www.clio-cy.com or on IG @clio.cy


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