Harper’s Bazaar magazine illuminates the stories and actions of six social justice activists, including three women and one teenage girl of color, via a trio of one-on-one conversations in its new #WomenWhoDare series.
“It is so necessary to hear from white people being honest about power and privilege.” —@Blklivesmatter cofounder @OsopePatrisse talks with @Janefonda about the evolution of civil rights activism. #WomenWhoDare https://t.co/0j8Vo5O8XL
— Harper’s Bazaar (@harpersbazaarus) October 8, 2018
Harper’s Bazaar published the articles online yesterday (October 8). The three main exchanges take place between Black Lives Matter cofounder Patrisse Khan-Cullors and actress Jane Fonda; actresses and Time’s Up members Laverne Cox (“Orange is the New Black”) and Rosario Dawson (“Luke Cage”); and former member of Congress Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) and March for Our Lives speaker Edna Chavez.
Check out these excerpts, then head over to at HarpersBazaar.com to read their full conversations.
Khan-Cullors on the legacy of Black Lives Matter:
You know, when we started Black Lives Matter, now five years ago, that was in a time where Obama was the president. A lot of folks at the very beginning kind of criticized us, like, “Guys, we don’t really have to talk about that anymore, you have your Black president.” And five years later, I’m so grateful for that movement. It has actually set the tone for many of the rest of these movements, right? That we have to protest, we have to hit the streets, we have to resist and we have to say the things that sometimes people are afraid to say.
I think Black Lives Matter was that phrase that people were afraid to say, and now it’s everywhere. Now people get, “Oh, this is why they said Black Lives Matter, this why they’re saying Black Lives Matter.” And that these movements, we’re here for the long haul. The resistance didn’t start with Black Lives Matter, there’s been a resistance movement in this country for 500 years, and I think we are a part of that legacy. And that is, it’s an honor, it’s an honor to be a part of that legacy.
Cox on the importance of intersectional feminism:
I think about [“The Vagina Monologues” author] Eve Ensler a lot, particularly when I think about the inclusion of trans women in feminist movements, which has been a really tricky contested space, probably since the ’70s, when some trans-exclusionary radical feminists were like “trans women are not really women”—assertions that we don’t belong in this movement. And then the LGBT movement was saying the same thing about trans women. What feels different to me about this moment is now there’s more acknowledgement that we are in this together, that being an intersectional feminist means that we have to embrace women of all kinds, of all races, nationalities, abilities, gender identities, and that feels super exciting.
Chavez on how family tragedy and separation pushed her into activism:
Gun control has always been such a huge topic in low-income communities, especially communities with people of color. We’ve lost many people. I’ve lost many people personally, and I have been affected by it personally. Whether it’s me living in a neighborhood where you hear gunshots on a daily basis and you hear the helicopters passing through and shining the light through your window late at night, or just hearing your neighborhood talk about how that one kid on the block got shot. It’s something that’s been normalized, and it shouldn’t have been normalized from the beginning, but unfortunately, it has.
My activism didn’t just start with gun violence. The root of it was always immigration. I was personally affected by it, by having my father taken away in 2016. I lost [my brother] Ricardo when I was younger, and that did traumatize me. But I didn’t know how to react to it. I always molded my feelings in this box where it’s just, it happens. This is the norm. So then when that happened with my dad, I was already introduced to activism, and I decided that I shouldn’t allow this to happen anymore.