When the concept of the women's march was first floating around I was so angry about the result of the election that I couldn't fathom going anywhere near Washington DC this weekend. I said I didn't want to be a part of anything that had anything to do with that hateful man. Even in rebellion. I just wanted to pretend it wasn't real.
It still feels unreal, to me. As close as we were to the light is as far away as it feels to me now. But it is real. It is happening. And fuck am I grateful to have been asked by some magical people to be a part of this march.
As scary as this all is and as overwhelming as the unknown continues to be it is comforting to know that so many of us feel the same way. So many of us are going to take the frustration, the confusion, the anger, the sadness, the fear, the loss, and remember to hope. We are going to take it all and come together, wherever you find yourself on Saturday, and remind each other that we are all in this together. We are here for each other. We aren't going anywhere. We are going to fight for the light. We don't get to give up now. Now we use each other to energize and organize and tell each other that you can sleep tomorrow. And when tomorrow comes and you still haven't slept, and you're still tired, you know that you can sleep tomorrow. See you in DC! #womensmarch#whyimarch#strongertogether
Today's Shero is Kathleen Neal Cleaver. She is an American professor of law known for her leadership within the Black Panther Party.
After graduating with honors and later attending Barnard College, Cleaver left college in 1966 for a secretarial job with the New York office of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC).
Cleaver was in charge of organizing a student conference at Fisk University. While leading the conference, Cleaver met the minister of information for the Black Panther Party, Eldridge Cleaver. By November 1967, she joined the Black Panther Party, and a month later, she married Eldridge. The Black Panther Party organized around the Ten-Point Program.
Cleaver became the communications secretary and the first female member of the Party’s decision-making body. She also served as the spokesperson and press secretary. She organized the national campaign to free Huey Newton. She was among a small group of women that were prominent in the Black Panther Party, which included Elaine Brown and Ericka Huggins.
As a result of their involvement with the Black Panther Party, the Cleavers were often the target of police investigations. Their apartment was raided in 1968 before a Panther rally. Later that year, after an altercation with police officers, Cleaver was wounded and fellow Black Panther member Bobby Hutton was killed.
While in exile, Cleaver supported her husband while he was the head of the international section of the Panthers. After years of exile, she returned to the U.S. in late 1975. She graduated summa cum laude with a B.A. in history from Yale University. By 1984, she had become an associate at a New York law firm, and an assistant professor of law at Emory University. She later served on the Georgia's Supreme Court for Racial and Ethnic Bias in the Courts.
She is why we march.