An evening with Alicia Garza
Ujala Chauhan, Staff Writer
November 1, 2021
Alicia Garza met with Honey Mahogany to discuss Black communities, making Black communities powerful in politics, and the Black Lives Matter movement.
Garza is the co-creator of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement and one of Time magazine's top 100 most influential people. She works as an author, political strategist, and activist for the BLM movement. Honey Mahogany is the chair of the San Francisco Democratic Party, an activist, and a graduate of UC Berkeley.
On Oct. 20, Garza and Mahogany met for a talk, broadcasted live on YouTube and open to the public. As Mahogany listened, Garza discussed the influence and importance of BLM and her life as an activist.
"[BLM] is so much older than us. Any time that there is injustice or disintegration, there are people who stand up to bridge the gap," Garza said.
Garza first gained popularity and recognition in 2013, after the acquittal of the man who killed Trayvon Martin when she wrote on Facebook, "Black people: I love you. I love us. Our lives matter."
However, Garza claims she was motivated to become an activist as early as middle school.
"I got involved in a campaign in my school district when I was in middle school. There was a big debate about whether or not to allow contraceptives in school nurse's offices. We fought that campaign, and we won, and that got me fired up!" Garza said.
As the talk began, Garza explained that BLM should include all Black lives but that this is not always the case. For example, the umbrella term does not include transgender Black people, even though, Garza said, it should and was intended to when the movement was created.
"Black people are also trans," Garza said. "Black people are gay, bisexual, lesbian, transgender, genderqueer...we are everywhere, and we occupy many different spaces. [That is why] sometimes it is important to say 'Black trans lives matter,' because Black trans lives are getting left out of the conversation about whose Black lives matter."
Garza said that the BLM movement is not about who's already at the table; it's who is not. The movement is all about ensuring that people of all backgrounds are able to contribute.
"We need more hands to lift up this struggle because it is heavy," Garza said. When asked about what her next steps as an activist are going to be, Garza said that she is working to turn her podcast into a TV show. She will continue to speak up about injustice, and she encourages the next generation to do the same.
Carlmont High School sophomore and companion attendee Samina Ginwalla said, "BLM is a matter of human rights. Supporting BLM shouldn't be characterized by changing your profile picture or reposting an infographic. [It's] about taking steps to understand and remove the implicit biases that are within you. It isn't a one-time thing to care about or a trend. It is an ongoing effort to bring power to Black people."