Alicia Garza: You Don’t Get Far Being Mealy-Mouthed

Alicia Garza, Co-founder of Black Lives Matter, sat for an interview with Advocate to discuss her new book, “How We Come Together When We Fall Apart”, organizing the Black community, LGBTQIA rights, and what she is doing now to push the movement forward. “I didn’t start a movement. Black people have been trying to get free ever since we were brought here. I cannot take any kind of credit for that,” she says. “But this is our generation’s stamp on a movement that is ongoing.”

Garza had already been organizing for 10 years in the Bay Area knocking on doors in her local community before the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter was created. “The first time I had a sense of my own power was fighting and winning the ability to have access to contraception in school nurses’ offices.” From there she went on to become the face of the Black Lives Matter movement and is currently the principal at Black Futures Lab and the director of strategy and Partnerships at the National Domestic Workers Alliance.

As principal at Black Futures Lab, Garza conducted the largest survey of the Black community in 150 years, The Black Census Project, and asked people, “What do you want for your future?” Over 30,000 black people across the country participated to voice their views, political beliefs and aspirations. When asked the same question she said, “For my future, I want to be able to live three-dimensionally. And what that means for me is I want to be able to pursue joy. I want to be able to have the things I need to live well and I want to be involved in the decisions that are impacting my life every single day.”

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