Why Flávia Marches
I am an Afro-Brazilian woman, living in the Pioneer Valley for 8 years. I came to the country for my doctorate in Afro-American Studies at UMass and I do anti-racist/anti-sexist/anti-homophobia work both as a scholar and as an activist. As a woman of color, immigrant, mother (of two boys), trauma survivor, in the intersections of so many identities targeted/attacked by this new administration, I feel this march represents an opportunity to voice my protest and total disapproval of the white supremacist ideas the now-president-elect represents and is putting forward.
I teach Black Studies at college level and when we talk about the black liberation struggle of the 50s, 60s, and 70s – which overlapped with the women’s, LGBTQ and labor movements – we discuss it as both historical phenomena and a legacy in this country. This legacy has deep roots in a long history of white supremacy and I can see now it’s alive and strong. But this history also teaches us about the legacy of resistance and resilience of the most oppressed: black people and other people of color, women, workers, and the LGBTQ communities. I want to march the hell out of it surrounded by all of you who share the feeling of disgust for the long-established white supremacist ideas/ideals this country was founded upon. I particularly want to be surrounded by people of color like me who know how it feels to live under those ideas/ideals. I want to march for the generation of warrior women in my family and for my sons. I want to march for change, for freedom, for mutual respect, and love.
Flávia Santos de Araújo is blessed by the Atlantic oceans: born in the state of Paraíba in the Northeast of Brazil, she has lived in the Pioneer Valley in Massachusetts for the past eight years. She is also blessed by the presence of a loving community of family and close friends from all over the world, from different ethnicities, sexual orientation, and creed – with whom she learns so much about love and dignity. She holds a PhD in Afro-American Studies and a Master’s in Literature. She spends her time trying to figure out how to make change as an intellectual/scholar/activist/teacher/moth:er/daughter/sister/partner; reading and writing; learning how to play the drums; and dancing like a wild beast.