Truly Honoring Black Women’s Labor and Fatigue to Change this Country

L-R: Thomas Jackson, Derecka Purnell

From the conclusion of a Guardian op-ed “Why Black Progressive Women Feel Torn About Kamala Harris” by Derecka Purnell (right), a social movement lawyer and writer based in Washington DC.

I am reluctant to say that Biden and Harris can be pushed. My hope of being wrong is greater than my fear of being right. That hope comes from countless activists who organize across the state and local level, who are vigorously defending democracy on their blocks and creating care in their families and communities. That hope comes from studying Fannie Lou Hamer and the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party, who, facing impossible odds and considerable violence and no resources, decided to forge an alternative to the political establishment. Hamer asks, “Is this America, the land of the free and home of the brave, where we have to sleep with our telephones off the hooks because our lives be threatened daily, because we want to live as decent human beings, in America?”

If we must support politicians of color seeking office, let’s especially protect the ones in Hamer’s tradition, who risk their lives resisting white supremacy, Republicans, and moderate Democrats. And if we want to truly honor Black women’s labor and fatigue to change this country, the cost will be significantly higher than the price of the ticket to run it.

One thought on “Truly Honoring Black Women’s Labor and Fatigue to Change this Country

  1. Oscar (Oz) Cole-Arnal

    Dear Sister Purnell,

    As an ex-American, who gave up my citizenship in the 1980s, the last person I voted for as president was a write-in vote for Jesse Jackson. In fact, while in Paris, France doing my PhD dissertation research , my wife & I got our write-in ballot shorty after Nixon defeated McGovern–we wrote in Gus Hall & Angela Davis. Having given this brief background, I have been a Bernie bro for decades now, & should I still have the right to vote in the USA I would hold my nose & vote for the Biden/Harris ticket. In short I quote you: “I am reluctant to say that Biden and Harris can be pushed. My hope of being wrong is greater than my fear of being right.” That very quote speaks volumes to our local BLM struggle.

    SHALOM & SOLIDARITY,
    Oz (Oscar Cole-Arnal)

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