Good morning everyone. My name is Janette Robinson Flint and I am the Executive Director of Black Women for Wellness. Today I stand on the shoulders of Sojourner Truth who began working on women’s rights in 1850 – Black Women for Wellness is celebrating 20 years in 2017, 160+ years later, we do not need to show our breasts, but we still must show up and show out
We stand on the shoulders of Biddy Mason who walked to Los Angeles, and then claimed her freedom, Biddy Mason was a midwife, an entrepreneur, a brave , bold and fearless woman and we stand on her shoulders in a fight for health, reproductive justice and with claiming our own freedom
On the Inauguration Day for Woodrow Wilson in 1913, Ida B. Wells hid out until the Illinois delegation passed, and then joined in. And though both white and black women won the vote in 1920, they did not do it by marching together. Yes the Illinois delegation had asked her to stand back, that southern women would not appreciate Black women in the front of the line, Ida B Wells would be proud of this march, Black women are in the front of the line, because we lead and our place is at the front, on the sides, and with the rear guard too
I stand on the shoulders of Ella Baker who believed that if you give folks the light they will find the way – Ella Baker would delighted today, 93% of African American women voted to protect the progress women have made in this country, we voted against misogyny, racism, sexism and all the hatred spewed during the campaign. Our democracy demands full active participation, voting is not enough, it is not enough to prevent the potential of wrong this new administration has in store. We will need to call, write, visit, run, protest, hold accountable, petition and vote even more. Black women are organizing, we are running for office, on commissions, in boards and our voices matter
I stand on the shoulders of Joyce Robinson, Coretta Scott King, Fannie Lou Hamer, Rosa Parks who organized marches, rallies, boycotts, civil disobedience and our people- we will need to call on those skills in the coming days
California is leading the way for women’s rights, we know that the fight for freedom and justice is an ever constant battle. In our history we know that the horrors like fascism, slavery, concentration camps were institute over time and that good people let it happen by doing nothing, by sitting silent, letting their power be overcome with isolation and apathy.
Each one of us here in Downtown Los Angeles, in cities and towns across the nation, across the globe realize the importance of action
We are not fooled by the attempts to normalize racism.
We will not be lulled into sleep by attempts to normalize sexism
We are not lulled into sleep by attempts to normalize homophobia and transphobia.
We are not lulled to sleep by the attempts to normalize xenophobia.
We are not fooled by the attempts to normalize white supremacy. We will not stand silently while we normalize hate.
Stay Woke, Stay Loud, Stay Resolved!
We stand firmly on the shoulders of our history, Barbara Jordan, Daisy Bates, Shirley Chisholm, and the many other Black women brave, bold, fearless and fierce who dared to make a difference in our lives though most everything and everyone told us to sit down, go to the back of the line, wait our turn be quiet, wait and see. Today, we choose to organize, to fight for us, to be defiant, to resist, to make noise, to rally against those that have staged this coup. I’m asking you right now to not wait and see but to be bold, brave, fearless and fierce.
Tamika Mallory (former executive director of National Action Network), Carmen Perez (executive director The Gathering for Justice), Linda Sarsour (executive director of the Arab American Association of New York) are bold, brave, fearless and fierce women ,
They could not sleep on Nov 8, they choose not to wait and see
we are here, tens of thousands strong, we will not wait and see, we will stay woke, stay engaged, resist, defy, organize, demand justice, dignity, freedom
We are standing in solidarity because we know the people united will never be defeated, that there will be no peace until we have justice,
We know history is watching what we do now, our children our watching, our democracy is at stake Be Bold Brave, Fearless and Fierce