Houston Forward Times

Black Girl Magic meets Black Lives Matter for Breakfast

ABOVE: BLM organization leaders Patrisse Cullors (seated middle) and Melina Abdulla (standing) met with Black youth to discuss the importance of their steadfast activism

A conversation on racial justice and Waffles were both served this past week as a part of an Interfaith Youth Breakfast hosted by Black Lives Matter (BLM) and catered by the breakfast klub, in which BLM organization leaders and famous activists Patrisse Cullors and Melina Abdulla met with Black youth to discuss the importance of their steadfast activism over a hearty breakfast.

The meeting opened with the reasons BLM was founded, and subsequently the catalyst of its forming, the Trayvon Martin case.

“It was both a moment of tragedy, as well as a very sobering moment. And because of that, I realized that George Zimmerman cannot have the period to this story. It can’t go down in history that this man was able to kill this young boy and we didn’t do anything about it.”

These were the words spoken by Patrisse Cullors, the BLM Global Network Co-Founder, who recounted her own perspective at the time of the court decision.

At the time of the court decision, Cullors recalled visiting one of her mentees – an 18-year-old who had just gotten ten years in prison on false charges – and how the verdict served as her wake up call to begin a greater movement dedicated to ending that cycle.

Kaleb Taylor, a recent graduate of Texas Southern University, spoke on his decision to get into politics

Melina Abdulla went on to expand on the importance of their cause, as well as the sheer justness of it, describing their work as “God’s work” and the “current generation iteration of the Black freedom struggle” moving beyond the label of POC (person of color) that is often used to describe a plethora of non-White races, despite the injustices that the Black community faces so much more disproportionately than other races.

Cullors stressed the importance of those within the Black community to be politically active, briefly speaking about BLM’s “What Matters” initiative, a campaign in which they will actively engage communities, encouraging Black people, particularly Millennials and Gen Z to not only vote but to become more politically educated by understanding policy and the current candidates better. The “What Matters” campaign also advocates against voter suppression, government corruption and mass incarceration.

Koretta Brown, an advocate for criminal justice reform and a current student at Texas Southern University (TSU), spoke on her experience as a Black woman within the prison system.

“I actually got an 8-year sentence,” said Brown. “I met several young White girls the same age as me. Same exact crime. Same exact circumstances surrounding the crime. And each one of them got less time that I got. And one of them even had deferred probation with weekend jail sentences. She would come in on a Friday and be out on Sunday.”

Brown went on to speak on her origins within Black Girl Magic in 201, working alongside Judge Ramona Franklin, as well as her own personal fight towards prison reformation by involving herself in the political world.

Kaleb Taylor, a recent graduate of Texas Southern University (TSU), who majored in political science and minored in African American Studies, spoke on his decision to get into politics.

“My flashpoint wasn’t Trayvon Martin, but Michael Brown,” said Taylor. “I remember the night the grand jury decided not to indict Darren Wilson. I had been talking to my mom about the verdict, telling her I don’t think  they’re gonna indict him, and my mom was telling me that they would because they left his body out for four hours, and that with the backlash of the Trayvon Martin case they would know better. And when the verdict came out… I just started crying.”

Taylor was followed up by two other graduate students of TSU, Brandon Hull and Carter Jefferson, who both gave their respective backgrounds and stories similar to Taylor’s which led them down the path to political activism.

Youth speakers around the room spoke on their experiences with racial injustice, as well as their actions taken to rise up against it in a way that was truly an inspirational sight to see.

The meeting was an absolute success, with attendees leaving with not only a stomach full of breakfast, but with minds filled with knowledge and hearts burning with renewed passion for true justice in America.