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Standout activists of 2018

Today's Black Leaders

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February is Black History Month, and in it many Americans will celebrate famed black leaders such as Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, Fredrick Douglass, and Harriet Tubman. Today, the legacy seen in their footprints has inspired a new generation of activist. Here are four black activists who have displayed the same courage as some of the great leaders of the past:

1. Tarana Burke

Tarana Burke is the founder of a movement you’ve no doubt heard of. Although #MeToo just went viral on Twitter in 2017, Burke has been working on this movement since she created it in 2006. Her goal was to support survivors of sexual violence, but what she achieved was a worldwide community that provides safety and acceptance for victims of sexual abuse. Burke made a movement that rocked the world and brought the topic of sexual assault to the forefront of discussion. As an African-American activist, she is an inspiration and asset to society.

2. Alicia Garza

Alicia Garza is the co-founder of another recognizable organization. Her movement, Black Lives Matter, aims at ending police brutality and black oppression. As a leader, Garza has devoted her time to battling discrimination on all grounds, including race, gender, and sexual orientation. She uses her voice in both writing and public speaking to spark change in her community. Despite knowing that achieving her goals may take “40, 50, even 60 years,” Garza continues to fight the same daily issues that she desperately wants to see eradicated. When that day comes, she will be one of the many activists to thank.

3. Laverne Cox

Laverne Cox is a fierce advocate for the LGBT community. Cox, who is black and trans, understands the difficult cross sections of gender and race discrimination. A role model in the community, Cox is constantly using her voice and platform to represent LGBT people. As an actress and producer, she made space for herself in an exclusive industry to show others that nothing is impossible considering gender and race. Cox’s openness has encouraged the trans community, and given the world a new definition for acceptance.

4. Shaun King

Shaun King is a journalist, humanitarian, and activist. He has given himself completely to the civil rights movement, understanding that the time for it was not only the 60s, but now. King is also a political commentator, lending his voice and perspective to important issues in the media. He has followed the Black Lives Matter movement extensively, reporting on major issues along the way. King is a vital member of the civil rights movement, and his support for the black community is key in today’s society.

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About the Writer
A. L., Editor

Hi, my name is A. L.  and I am a senior at Orcutt Academy. This past summer I spent my time boogie boarding at Gaviota Beach and exploring the central...

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