The work we have set out to do is hard and tedious. Each year brings its own challenges—and for many of us, each of them tests our resolve in unimaginable ways. Despite that, we maximize opportunities to grow as a network, to sharpen our commitment to justice, and to share our varied aspirations for the liberation of Black people. While we don’t always agree, what we know above all else is that each of us is organizing toward a world in which all Black people have the rights, resources, and recognition we need to thrive.
We also know that our dissent, demonstrations, demands, and tireless fight for dignity have revealed a ubiquitous white rage, resentment, and revenge. Coupled with economic insecurity and a rise in global conservatism, we are living in a more precarious political landscape than we were just one presidential election ago. Despite that, our mandate has not changed: Organize and end all state-sanctioned violence until all Black Lives Matter.
In the four years since Black Lives Matter organized, we’ve called for more safety. Not less. We’ve demanded an end to anti-Black state violence. We’ve asked white people to organize their communities; to courageously help their loved ones understand the importance of solidarity; and to show up for us, themselves, and democracy. Policymakers and white supremacists have promised more death, disenfranchisement, and deportations. We believe them. The violence they will continue to incite, and the permission they give others to commit violence, is just beginning to emerge.
In the face of this, our commitment remains the same: to protect ourselves and our communities. Here’s what we know: We are obliged to earn the trust of future generations— to defend economic, social, and political power for all people. We are confident that we have the commitment, the people power, and the vision to organize our world into a safe place for Black people—one that leads with inclusivity and a commitment to justice, not intimidation and fear. We also need and deserve an elaborate strategy to eradicate both white supremacy and implicit bias towards it. We must reckon with the anti-Blackness of America’s history that led to this political moment.
We continue to operate from a place of love for our people and a deep yearning for real freedom. In our work, we center the most marginalized and look to them for leadership. We fight for our collective liberation because we are clear that until Black people are free, no one is free. We are committed to practicing empathy for one another in this struggle—but we do not and will not negotiate with racists, fascists, or anyone who demands we compromise our existence.
We affirm our existence. We affirm our right to not only live, but to thrive—to exist in a world where our humanity is seen and honored. We organize to realize a world in which our faiths are held in esteem, our identities are respected, and our families are prioritized. We deserve a world in which our children are protected, our Earth is sacred, and we are given a fair chance to decide our fates.
Because it is our duty to win, we will continue to fight. And today, like every day before it,
we demand reparations, economic justice, a commitment to Black futures, and an end to the war on Black people around the world.
Despite all that we are up against given this new political landscape, we are uniquely positioned to build substantial power for Black people in 2017. We know this because we have been here before, and we have the wisdom of elders and the wherewithal to listen and strategize accordingly.
The work will be harder, but the work is the same– click through our programs to learn more about it, and us.