The Women of Black Lives Matter

From the Winter 2015 issue of Ms.: Patrisse Cullors, along with Alicia Garza and Opal Tometi, created the #BlackLivesMatter hashtag and organized the Black Lives Matter campaign after the 2012 killing of the unarmed young Floridian Trayvon Martin by a self-appointed vigilante.

“Movement and change take a significant amount of time,” said Cullors. “We are in a state of emergency, [but] things take decades, centuries to change. To unearth those systems––racism, patriarchy, transphobia––takes consistency and perseverance.” 

(For more ground-breaking stories like this, order 50 YEARS OF Ms.: THE BEST OF THE PATHFINDING MAGAZINE THAT IGNITED A REVOLUTION, Alfred A. Knopf—a collection of the most audacious, norm-breaking coverage Ms. has published.)

On Simone Biles, Black Women and the Space Between the Leap and the Land

“Simone Biles’s plight felt to me like both metaphor and matterphor for Black ascension—a kind of disorientation that attends to Black excellence, the discomfiture that comes in those fleeting moments, where having pulled off something great, you feel like you are on top of the world, and yet, curiously, terrifyingly, you also have no idea where you are in the air.”

Is Juneteenth for Everybody?

“We are grateful for Texas, for Galveston—but what happened in Texas didn’t only happen there. Freedom was eventual but it was not an event. It was episodic, but not confined to one episode. Juneteenth is for everybody Black. It is but the enduring Black freedom celebration in a range of Emancipation Day celebrations that Black people have used to mark belated freedom.”