As a scientist who has to read a mountain of academic literature everyday, I can never seem to find enough time to read about the history of the country I live in. However, I have a deep appreciation of the Civil Rights Movement and always try to educate myself and learn from it.
I feel extremely lucky that the Yale Afro-American Cultural Center invited Dr. Angela Davis – who is an activist and a civil rights icon – to give a lecture commemorating Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, and that I was able to attend. The event, held in Woolsey Hall, was sold out shortly after it was announced. There are so many quotes from the night that I cannot list here. Among the many important issues she addressed, I want to specifically mention two of them. She said “We need to revise the way in which we narrate the history of black people in the Americas”. I have gotten all my history education in my native country, which is far, far away from the US. Therefore, I was not educated in colonial history or the US’s recent history – so maybe that’s why I was hung up on this sentence, as it will make me re-evaluate what I learn about history in this country. She also talked about the importance of feminist movements to battle racism, which made me think of the women’s suffrage movement and how it only served white women (there was a great NY Times article last year on how suffrage betrayed black women). She also added that she is not talking about “capitalist feminism” or “glass-ceiling feminism”, but rather she was talking about more intersectional/inclusive form of feminism.
Next, as part of 2020 MLK commemoration, Yale is hosting activist and renowned poet Nikki Giovanni, again in a sold out event. Sadly neither Charlotte nor myself were able to get a ticket for that event. I will probably have to follow it through twitter.