Mel D. Cole

RevolutionaryWe See You

editor’s letter: we are revolutionary

November 1, 2019

When I contemplate the meaning of revolutionary so many thoughts and ideas flood my mind. I am so grateful to our ancestors who refused to be subjugated by colonization, and the privilege and patriarchy of white supremacy and stood up, spoke out, and sacrificed their safety and lives to fight for equality and equity. 

Freedom is not promised. 

As Black people from the African Diaspora, we have been blessed with intellect, creativity, strength, and resilience that is unprecedented. Unfortunately, we live in a world where our gifts are considered a threat. As a community and culture, our brilliance has been demonized, discredited, and denounced. Slavery, brutality, murder, lynchings, social injustice and commodification have been inflicted on our community in the form of Anti Blackness. 

Resistance is our superpower. 

When I think about the Black genius, courage, and activism of Zumbi, Harriet Tubman, Nat Turner, Frederick Douglass, W.E.B. Du Bois, Kwame Nkrumah, Zora Neale Hurston, James Baldwin, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, Jesse Jackson, Medgar Evers, Julian Bond, Shirley Chisholm, Angela Davis, Fred Hampton, Marsha P. Johnson, Nelson Mandela, Audre Lorde, Steve Biko, Barack and Michelle Obama, Oprah Winfrey, Robert Smith and the thousands of Black folks not listed who sacrificed their lives for our Black liberation, I am humbled in gratitude. The Harlem Renaissance, the Civil Rights Movement, The Black Arts Movement,  the Black Power Movement, the Anti-Apartheid Movement, Black Lives Matter, and the Trans Movement prove that we can mobilize, engage the community, and fight for ourselves and our freedom. 

Liberation is our birthright. 

We are the heroes of our own existence. We are the people who get up every day and show up in our Blackness covered in our majestic melanin and energized by the spirits of a people, a Pan African community, a lineage of power, Black excellence and self-determination that are unparalleled. We the people who refuse to be quiet, who refuse to be broken, who refuse to sit still, and we who consciously choose to resist. Our very presence is a form of resistance. Our unapologetic audacity to be ourselves —queer,  intersectional, femme, dope, innovative and Black as fuck is ours! You can’t take it away from us. It’s in our DNA. We are warriors.

Freedom is ours! 

Raise your fist in the air as you mean it. And let your Black joy be your armor as you intentionally move in your revolutionary spirit and presence.