Welcome to #BlackNovember!
Just months ahead of the most historic election in modern history, and just days following the Democratic and Republican conventions, Black voices have become more important than ever. America is bracing for an election that will decide everything from who runs local law enforcement agencies to the next leader of the free world. Making a comprehensive Black agenda even more crucial for those seeking the support of Black voters.
In an effort to energize, inform and mobilize the community, on August 28th, the 2020 Black National Convention (BNC) was held through a four-hour live stream hosted by the Movement for Black Lives (M4BL) Electoral Justice Project, which was created in 2017 to build political power in Black communities around the nation, and to provide a political home for Black people who have never felt valued by either party. Drawing inspiration from the inaugural BNC held in Gary, Indiana in 1972, the BNC was designed to help shape Black policy through a series of discussions, performances, and more.
“About 90 percent of the BNC is made up of local organizers, and we commissioned a host of Black filmmakers and Black creatives to produce a program that we knew would not only activate Black people politically, but that championed Black joy, creativity, and resilience,” said Jessica Byrd, co-founder of the Electoral Justice Project and founder of Three Point Strategies, a political strategy firm working in service to women of color seeking elected office.
Executive produced by award-winning filmmaker Dream Hampton, the event was streamed live via BlackNovember.org and hosted by M4BL leaders Kayla Reed and Philip Agnew, as well as Pose actress and activist, Angelica Ross. Speakers from academia, community activism, journalism, and more were a part of the lineup and included:
Tarana Burke, founder of the ‘me too’ movement and executive director of ‘me too’ International
Dr. Barbara Ransby, activist, historian, and professor
Professor Eddie Glaude, from Princeton University
Patrisse Cullors, co-founder of Black Lives Matter
Miss Major Griffin-Gracy, renowned transgender rights activist
“From our elders and ancestors we learned it is possible to bring Black people together from all political ideologies and backgrounds to mobilize around a common vision for Black liberation,” said Reed. “We wanted to bring the momentum of the streets to a political organizing space where people could gather, reflect, and take action.”
Read this story in full at Blavity | October 2020