Angela Rye | Activism Now CAAM

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

What is advocacy without action? a waste. Advocacy is such a philosophical plight, it starts in the mind, and slowly becomes an entire movement of both the body and spirit. As someone who believes the fundamental human rights given by God and governed by law, I see myself as a person who needs an advocate but can be an advocate for others. Advocacy in action is called activism.

Angela Rye: Activism Now was sponsored by the California African American Museum on November 7th. (Click here to watch video)

Angela Rye is more than just a pretty face lawyer who makes appearances on CNN and NPR. More than Rapper Common's girlfriend. She is the definition of black girl magic and the authority of the minority who use advocacy to pave their way to social justice. She is the principal and CEO of a political advocacy firm IMPACT Strategies, based in Washington D.C., composed of a team who examine the current state of the nation and it's effective ways citizens can respond with action. Angela Rye is becoming a popular and well-respected woman fighting for social change with the use of political strategy and advocacy.

As an aspiring human rights advocate and political commentator I felt it was necessary to attend to inspire myself, my tribe on this blog, but also remember that I have a duty to my people and my culture. Once upon a time, there was a black culture who fought the good fight, so that I can have the privileges I have today. I must say that room was nothing short of black boy joy and black girl magic. I felt a sense of leadership in the air while I sat amongst the elite and well-intended blacks who had come for various reasons.

As an advocate we always ask, what can we do? How can we help? I believe Angela answered my questions.

My takeaways this evening: 1) “Power is the ability to achieve a purpose.” -#MLK 2) Bank Black so that we have the ability to fund the Dream MLK had. 3) Know your role in the movement & play your part. 

I want to take apart these three things apart by digging a little bit deeper into what they mean for single black women and why it's important for us to create our own narratives within political movements.

(photo by @HRDWRKER)

1) Power can be shared with others but sometimes we have to remind others that black women deserve power (energy), the ability to live a life of purpose (outside of family and work), and the credit for that achievement. I want to say that in the civil rights movement black women took a step back and let the black man speak their truths and this time I'm saying stand next to each other, undivided, and willing to agree to disagree but help each other not to become drowned out by the political upheaval.

Example, if you're sitting at a table with a black woman and she's not being heard, restate what she said until someone hears her. This also goes vice versa. Have a seat, listen with an open mind, and see what came be done to move forward together.

2) Banking Black is a very important thing I believe blacks have learned from Black WallStreet or even the Jewish community. If racism is not allowing you to fund small businesses (etc.) then you need to be able to support your dreams in a system created for you and by you. It's not enough to just buy black we also need to invest black.  We need to channel money back into the black community so that if the government isn't meeting our needs, we as a community, have support from others.

Black women are the fastest growing businesses but if we really look at the stats there's a lot of them but how many succeed past their first or second year? How many of them have more than just one to three employees? How many sell their business to conglomerates? We also know that black women are the last hired and first fired. I think we must think about these things and understand their importance to banking black.

Angela talked about the amounts of money black people dump into churches < she did not say, don't, she just suggested that we move that money around. Why not donate to advocacy groups, why not support and finance a Black political candidate? It's time we start spending our money on what matters and not just a new pair of Jordans or a dime bag. We have money but we're giving it to the pockets of the rich and we're staying poor.

A good example of this is a Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry < please read or watch. There are a lot of analogies that align with the Black American Dream today in a capitalistic society.

3) I hear people tell me all the time, you should run for a political position, and I tell them "No, I have too many skeletons in my closet." I know my place and it isn't becoming a politician. We have to know who we are so that we can get where we're going because in America it has already created discourses about black men and women. We have to fight those discourses every day but the easy way to do that is through education. This education has to be constant because the discourses are constantly being shoved down our throat.

For example, someone at the event suggested Angela run for president in 2020 and she quickly stated, "See, this what I talking about when I said know your place." Angela cleared it up that she doesn't see herself in the white house and she enjoys what she's doing now.

The issue sometimes is that no one ever wants to be second because everyone wants to be first. We can't all be first and sometimes some people are better at certain things. Just because you're not the face of the movement doesn't mean you're not a leader or that you're not valued but it does mean you have the tact to stand in the shadow and do the dirty work that no one sees. I'd like to think of myself as one of the silent killers in a movement. MLK had a team and that's why he was successful. I just everyone find their tribe and know their place but join the movement.

It's not enough to just be popular or paid. We need to see the benefit of being a community because we were always better together.

Side note: I did wish the event would have had a roundtable discussion or forum after so attendees could have gotten with other activist groups to discuss where volunteering was needed or how we could take Angela's discussion to the next level. After the event, everyone went their separate ways only to connect to Facebook through photos and comments.

Overall, I loved it and CAAM's will be having more free events promoting activism in the community. I would definitely suggest checking out their website for more information.

Angela Rye can be seen on your tv screens across America...if you see her, stop and listen, you might laugh and learn something about politics today.

Thank you,

@caaminla @angelarye

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This blog is NOT geared toward sexual orientation or gender classification. This blog is based solely on the blog authors experience and research. This blog is geared toward promoting a mixture of masculine and feminine attire and with an integrated genderless lifestyle.

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