Notes from Angela Davis: In Conversation with Melissa Harris-Perry

By Jaylin Paschal

Angela Davis and Melissa Harris-Perry sat in conversation at Busboys and Poets on January 22, 2017. Here are my notes from the event:

  • There is no escaping history
    • History is always asserting itself in our lives
    • Every moment shapes "us," as individuals and a people
  • Interracial feminist movement
    • "Intersectionality" coined by Kimberly Crenshaw
    • Women, Race and Class by Angela Davis (1981)
      • "What are you anyway? Black? Or a woman?"
      • Black women are always forced to choose between key parts of our identity
    • Sec. Clinton ran a campaign on white feminism
      • Even the "glass ceiling" metaphor can be elitist and exclusionary
  • Being white does not have to mean identifying with white supremacy
  • Racism is embedded in the psyche of the United States
  • Now is still the immediate aftermath of slavery
    • personal and political work that should've been done in the 18th century, is being done now
  • "Black women are the most strategic political force in the world." -A.D.
  • It is only because of black women that it can be said that women voted for Sec. Clinton
    • 94% of BW for Clinton; 55% of WW for Trump
  • The electoral college is an institution of slavery, made to help small and/or slave states maintain political power
  • Black men are challenging political coalition partners
    • Render black women vulnerable to both state violence and intimate violence
    • Domestic violence needs to be taught as men's problem
  • There is no vocabulary for certain traumas black women face
  • Build a community; everything is scary as an individual
  • 2016 president race = "Only election where response was mass mourning"
  • What would we be doing now if Clinton had been elected?
    • "Hillary was not going to lead us to freedom
  • James Baldwin to Angela Davis: "For, if they take you in the morning, they will be coming for us that night."
    • Time to put our bodies in the place of our politics
  • Building a movement = creating a new consciousness
  • Education = learning how to pose the right question
  • African American identity
    • Black does not come after "American"
Jaylin PaschalComment