Black History Day 5
“…citizenship requires constant action, which includes voting, protesting, and participating; and without the combination, we are all in jeopardy.” -Stacy Abrams “Our Time Is Now.”
Many of us who know Marcus Ferrell, know he is kind and decent. We know he is thoughtful and passionate. The second time I ever met him, it was just the two of us at Fair Trade Cafe. It was June of 2017. We were sitting outside, I think both of us were drinking lemonade. He told me he was leaving Arizona for a couple of months to go help set-up this campaign for Stacey Abrams. Then he says something with a level of conviction and certainty that I have never heard him come close to reproducing: “She is dope as hell and she is going to be the next Governor of Georgia!” That was the first time I ever heard her name. It was coming from a man who was the fifth person hired by Senator Sanders when he ran for President in 2016.
Now, almost everyone who follows the news, knows of Ms. Abrams. The work she did to lay credible claim to the highest office of Georgia, started 10 years earlier.
“Early investments in infrequent voters? Check. Consistent, authentic progressive messaging? Check. Outreach in multiple languages? Check. Centering the issues of communities of color and marginalized groups typically exiled to the fringes of statewide elections? Check.” -Stacy Abrams “Our Time Is Now.”
This was the route she undertook to move Georgia out of the red category and into purple. She reached out to voters that few campaigns reach, because she understood that if you can demonstrate to people how being a voter can improve your life, they will participate.
“We are strongest when we see the most vulnerable in our society, bear witness to their struggles, and then work to create systems to make it better.” -Stacy Abrams “Our Time Is Now”
This is our charge: we have allowed a caracal state to be constructed with little to no regard of its purpose. It consumes more and more resources each and every year. For most counties and states the funding to maintain the systems designed to control black bodies is vastly larger than what we invest to educate the minds of our children. It is our duty to show our communities that being a voter matters. We need to demonstrate that organizing to obtain equal justice matters. Me must show that taking to the streets to bring attention to an acute problem matters.
To make change on scale, we must not be afraid to grab and wield power. It is only when people start to see how power can improve their lives, will they more dutifully embrace their citizenship.
The Democrats in the Arizona State Legislature must take Dr. Gerae Peten‘s Crown Act bill, that never got a hearing in 2020 due to Covid, and run with it. If these legislators want Arizona to become a true blue state, they need to deliver tangible results. Someone being able to wear their hair as it naturally comes out of their head is a huge tangible win, that has very little opposition. In fact, run the bill. Pastor Warren Stewart Jr., Karl Gentles, Dr. Judy L. Greene, Lynsey Robinson and a whole host of others will organize our community around this and bring the ruckus for you, if anyone dare oppose this bill. All we need you to do is get it in the hopper; by any means necessary. The Crown Act, is our elected officials proving they saw black voters who came out across the nation, and here in Arizona, to help swing elections. The Crown Act is evidence they hear that we do not want to be fired for wearing our hair, as it naturally comes out of our head. It is showing all of us, how to gain power and how to yield power. Unless, the Democrats in the state legislature are afraid of gaining and wielding power.
“The right to be seen, the right to be heard, the right to direct the course of history are markers of power.” -Stacy Abrams “Our Time Is Now”