black and native solidarity is paramount and has to go both ways

March 24, 2017

Solidarity between historically oppressed groups is an important component of a powerful and successful movement. And the black liberation movements have aligned themselves with other people of color around the world. Activist/educator Angela Y. Davis called attention to the need for solidarity in last year’s ‘Freedom Is a Constant Struggle: Ferguson, Palestine, and the Foundations of a Movement’, which reflected on intersectionality and the interconnectedness of oppression everywhere. The message: if one of us isn’t free, none of us are.

In 2016, the Black Lives Matters movement expressed a similar call to action in the fight against environmental racism and the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), when members of the Black Lives Matter network traveled to North Dakota to stand in solidarity with the Water Protectors at Standing Rock.

“As there are many diverse manifestations of Blackness, and Black people are also displaced Indigenous peoples, we are clear that there is no Black liberation without Indigenous sovereignty,” the network wrote. “Our liberation is only realized when all people are free, free to access clean water, free from institutional racism, free to live whole and healthy lives not subjected to state-sanctioned violence. America has committed and is committing genocide against Native American peoples and Black people.”

The Black Lives Matter 5280 delegation who traveld to Standing Rock to stand with the Sioux Tribe

BLM 5280 delegation at Standing Rock

A BLM delegation at Standing Rock