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The theme for this year’s Black History Month has been “Black Resistance.” However, “Black Resistance” could very well be the theme of our people year-round. Why? Because in spite of our legacy of fighting against oppression being almost totally ignored by K-college curriculums, Blackfolk here and throughout the diaspora have always fought back.

It is safe to say, that during our sojourn in this land, there has never been a day without some form of Black resistance. We’ve always pushed back against oppression. Insurrections led by the enslaved. Those in bondage holding work slowdowns, breaking tools or serving ground-up glass to “massa.” Protests of various kinds. Creating all-Black self-determining communities. Founding institutions to fight for our future. Black resistance has always been a huge part of who we are. Every day.

So, it’s no surprise that when we asked you—our Defender faithful—to shares “What Black Resistance means to me,” y’all didn’t hesitate to respond. And even though Black History Month is over, your words show that Black Resistance continues!

Here’s what you had to say:

For me, Black Resistance is taking a stand for what you believe is right. We live in a time where they’re trying to bury and continue to destroy our Black excellence in our Black history. Black Resistance is teaching, educating our youth, as well as our peers, of all of the great things we have done and are continuing to do. We live in a time where they’re basically trying to make it illegal for Black History. Black resistance is standing up still educating despite the consequences for that, and showing that we are excellent no matter what may be at jeopardy. That’s what Black Resistance means to me. (Angela Harris)

Challenging the status quo, not just the national status quo, but also challenging the Black status quo, to me is Black Resistance. (Ayinde Bradshaw)

Black Resistance to me means owning my Blackness; owning who I am as a Black woman, and being firm about it. It’s showing strength. It’s showing that I am the embodiment of greatness. Black resistance means to me, basically, staying grounded about my Blackness. Black Resistance is an affirmation of our Blackness. It’s being proud, it’s being strong. It’s being mind/body/sound in my Blackness and showing to the world that I am being myself. (Niara Dorsey)

Black Resistance is going against the onslaught with white supremacy that has been going across this land with the cancer culture, and that we have to reaffirm and affirm and confirm who we are and whose we are, and carry out the mission that our ancestors called us out to do. (Nantambu George)

Black Resistance is just knowing who you are, just being strong, loving your melanin and being empowering. It is just a very vital thing. It’s very important to stand in that and just know the history and who we are. We are the creators, you know, loving our skin, loving who you are, being strong, standing for the culture, our tradition, coming together as one in the community, loving on one another, supporting one another, and continuing to fight and stand and rise. (Terrian Mathews)

Black Resistance to me means resisting a culture that has declared us basically an enemy, an outsider. It’s also about being self-sufficient and able to do for ourselves. That’s Black Resistance to me: building our own, supporting our own, encouraging our own—our youth—in every way possible. Giving them all the encouragement so they can give encouragement as they get our age. (Seyoum Dorsey)

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Aswad Walker

I'm originally from Cincinnati. I'm a husband and father to six children. I'm an associate pastor for the Shrine of Black Madonna (Houston). I am a lecturer (adjunct professor) in the University of Houston...