During this Women's History Month, the NAACP has been honoring exceptional women who have changed lives and history. It has been a profound pleasure and real education reading about women like the "Three B's."
In 1938, a joint meeting of two women’s groups was held at the world famous Tuskegee Institute in Tuskegee, Alabama. Though they functioned as separate organizations, the Association of Southern Women for the Prevention of Lynching (ASWPL) and the African American women members of the Commission on Interracial Cooperation (CIC) shared a common mission: the battle against racial discrimination and violence in the South. In this picture are world-renowned educators Nannie Helen Burroughs, Charlotte Hawkins Brown, and Mary McLeod Bethune. In addition to establishing notable schools in America (the National Training School for Women and Girls in Washington, D.C., the Palmer Memorial Institute in Sedalia, North Carolina, and Bethune-Cookman College in Daytona Beach, Florida) they were also notable members of the organizations that were present at this historic meeting. In addition, they were great friends. All three were members of the National Association of Colored Women's Clubs, Inc. (of which Bethune later served as President from 1924-1928) and all were members of the NAACP (of which Bethune and Burroughs served as Vice Presidents for a number of years). Brown later joined Bethune in the founding of the National Council of Negro Women, Inc. on December 5, 1935. The women are standing in front of the Booker T. Washington Monument, located in the center of the school's campus. The monument, sculpted by Charles Keck is called, "Lifting the Veil."
The NAACP has dedicated this final full week of March to celebrating women who put their lives on the line for justice. In doing so, these courageous, brilliant, revolutionary women shook the world and reshaped the United States.
Women like liberation activist and internationalist, Vicki Ama Garvin, Black Panther Party leaders; Ericka Huggins, Kathleen Cleaver and Elaine Brown, and lawyer, activist, civil rights advocate, and feminist Florynce Kennedy.
Yesterday, they honored our own extraordinary educator, writer, and sister of the soul - Denise Oliver-Velez.
NAACPOn Facebook and Twitter the NAACP sent out word about our friend, fellow kossack, Front Page Contributing Editor, and much loved co-editor of Black Kos.
Denise Oliver Velez--applied cultural anthropologist, writer and revolutionary--was a part of the Young Lord's Party, which rallied a crew of women that fought for open enrollment in the City Colleges of New York, for the formation of Puerto Rican Studies Programs and bi-lingual education in grade schools. #WHM2014
Denise has always been an inspiration and gift. To see the NAACP's honoring of her was a profound reminder of that. She has never stopped doing the crucial work of bending the arc of the moral universe towards justice.
It is not work for the faint of heart or the easily discouraged. It is work that knows justice may bloom in another life time, but it will bloom none the less, no matter how deep the difficulties or how long the struggle. Denise knows that each seed of justice matters. She encourages students, friends, fellow activists, neighbors, and all of us in our own efforts, cheering us on each step of the way.
Our Denise embodies that nurturing of justice and its hoped for blooming, both now and in the future.
We are deeply blessed to have her.
Knowing that, I thought you'd all want to know about the NAACP's honoring of Denise.
It's time to celebrate a life that has touched, and continues to touch, so many.
So let's spin some tunes and make a joyful noise. Let us share joy and thankfulness for Denise, and all those who inspire us in bending the moral arc of the universe towards justice.