I stand on the shoulders of amazing women like Assata and Harriet and Sojourner and Dorothy and Angela and Ida and Queen Maxine and Tarana – every Black woman freedom fighter who made EVERY movement we’ve known in this country possible.
Public servants are so embedded in the daily operations of life on a local, state, and national level that it can be easy to take their roles for granted.
Contests like this provide us with the opportunity to celebrate African Americans whose public service ought not go unnoticed.
Whether it’s sharing a hashtag on social media, using my platform to spread truth on issues impacting our community, challenging the community to be more diligent about supporting our businesses and our organizations – my activism is not optional.
Now when people ask me how I am doing…too often I reply like my father: just out here fighting this racism, man.
My Dad is a bullhorn-toting, large banner–waving protestor. So I settled for starting a Black Student Union with my best friend.
He loves to march and protest–well, I don’t know if he loves to, but he definitely doesn’t miss the opportunity to engage in protest. All power to the people meant serving on a committee developed by the Seattle police chief, to address excessive force and police brutality in my hometown.When people ask my Dad how he’s doing, he normally replies: “I’m just out here fighting this racism, man.” That statement is normally followed by him spouting statistics about disparities in contracting, education, or the criminal justice system in Washington state. I didn’t get bit by the protesting and marching bug like my Dad and I, in fact, have shunned the term “activist” for most of my adult life. As the child of a protestor, I grew up singing ‘power to the people, the people’s power.’ I grew up SINGING “We shall overcome” but not SEEING it. It meant serving as a youth chaplain to the King County Juvenile Detention Center while I was in college.Being a lawyer, I suppose I believed activism was a less strategic form of ensuring advancement for our people. I didn’t always agree with Dad on the means, but we certainly agree on the end goal. It meant running a computer lab at a community center, so people like me had access to technology.Val’s husband, Jerry Demings, who spent his public service career as a police officer, a sheriff, and now serves as the first African American mayor of Orange County.Aramis Ayala, a cancer survivor who became Florida’s first African American state attorney.For more information about the contest, visit Florida Black Darcey Addo is a National Board Certified teacher who has been teaching at FLVS since 2009.With progress there’s always a step backwards, but that step backwards did not mean the people’s power was gone.It just meant we needed more to preserve the change we sought and continue to seek. It is with that willpower that I will fight for every BLACK LIFE that mattered, that matters, and that will matter.Our name means "bringer of truth" or "messenger of God." For me, that meant telling my teachers when history books misrepresented black people. We chanted “Power to the people, the people’s power...getting stronger by the hour.” But was it really?My Dad is the same dude that ran one of the Panthers’ Free Breakfast programs from his job – Central Area Motivation Program. At an early age my mom took me to see a Bobby Seale lecture. All power to the people meant trying to determine how to re-start the Black Panther Party, which proved to be challenging at our all-girls, predominantly white Catholic school.