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Some Thoughts from a Mom and Grandma Who Protested Elizabeth Warren’s Education Plan in Atlanta

After a month of not writing, I took to Twitter to share some thoughts about the nasty fallout from the protest of a large group of Black and Brown parents and grandparents, overwhelmingly women, desperate for Sen. Elizabeth Warren to hear and see them. I was proud to be among this group of fighters, brave and bold, swapping heartwrenching stories of why they made the trip and using these experiences to motivate their advocacy.

The “tweets” below are lifted from Twitter as is — grammatical errors and all. I realize its great content for anyone not voting for Warren, but I hope its a clarion call to the Democratic party to listen to us even when we disagree — especially when we disagree.

Thinking about the Atlanta trip with amazing Black and Brown women who left their families, ate bad food, and endured cold temps to advocate for the right to access to great school choices only to be called mistresses to billionaires. For sale. Not mothers and grandmothers.

Not education activists. Not concerned citizens or passionate voters. Essentially, prostitutes. That the only way we could manage such a magnificent exercise is if we are paid. This from the political party in which most of us have spent our lives voting & volunteering.

But I’ve been in this Black body for 48 years and have seen some things so it’s not surprising that our collective Blackness (and Brownness) has no value to the Dem party when we dare question the party line. The media, all too eager to push the narrative, discounted our voices, cheapened our agency, and disrespected the individual fight of each mother and grandmother in their respective communities.

I sat with a 70-year-old on the side of the road because she was cold and in pain but refused to go sit on the bus because she understood the power of our bodies in that space. I walked by a tearful mother taking a call but whatever was going on at home didn’t stop her from the fight. I think about the racist, sexist narrative promoted on social media about us and while I’m not surprised, my soul is troubled. 

Thank you #PowerfulParentNetwork for the courage to walk in your truth and power. I am reminded of Malcolm X’s words that, sadly, ring true to this day, Black women are the most disrespected and neglected people in America. 

Ain’t I a woman?

P.S. Just before traveling to Atlanta, I read news about a 12-year-old Nashville girl who committed suicide resulting from months of bullying. Someone posted screenshots of her mother’s Facebook posts documenting multiple trips to the school pleading for help.

Tarhiya Sledge. Rest, angel.

What Do You Think?
Vesia Hawkins
Vesia Wilson-Hawkins is a former Metro Nashville Public Schools student, parent and staffer. She is committed to telling the story of how and why our public schools must be better. She is also an advocate for ensuring that low income parents and black and brown families have options when it comes to the education of our children. She is known to often say, "our babies cannot wait." Find her on twitter @vesiahawkins and read her writings here.



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