Black History Month is an important time of the year, despite what folks like Stacey Dash think. To honor the incredible African Americans in our communities making huge differences in the world, each day for BHM, we’ll highlight a special black man or black woman who mean a lot to us.
Yesterday we started with Amandla Stenberg, and today we’re back with a powerful voice, and a powerful human being — DeRay Mckesson.
Being an important part of the Black Lives Matter movement, DeRay has fought for equality for black people for years. His most notable rise to fame was in 2014, where he was a driving force for the now infamous Ferguson protests following the death of Mike Brown. He was again present in Baltimore for the uprising after the death of Freddie Gray.
Attending these rallies and peacefully organizing the protestors is necessary, and despite the hate and even threats that come with it, DeRay never stops. In fact, he goes…and keeps on going.
But it’s DeRay’s voice on social media that stretches far beyond his presence at these rallies. Day in and day out, DeRay is providing motivation, inspiration and hope for the men, women and kids suffering at the hands of police brutality, and racism in general. Enough is enough in DeRay’s mind, and there’s no limit on who he’ll call out. If you’re apart of the problem, DeRay will make sure you know that.
He’s been featured in just about every publication you can think of, including his most recent TV appearance on Stephen Colbert’s late night show. Discussing white privilege, DeRay forced Colbert to acknowledge the fact that it exists and truly made strides on the white privilege topic in his now-viral interview.
Along with his partner in crime Johnetta Elzie, DeRay never stops focusing on the goal — create an equal playing field for black people. It’s not that hard of a concept, is it?
Considered a modern day Martin Luther King Jr., DeRay has just as many haters as he does supporters. Folks tend to assume DeRay’s causing violence, perpetuating hate, but according to him, it’s the opposite: “We are not anti-police. We are anti-police brutality…I am frustrated by how many times we have to remind people we are peaceful.”
DeRay is smart, DeRay is passionate, and most importantly, DeRay cares. For a community that has suffered for decades upon decades, it’s refreshing to know that folks like DeRay are here, fighting for peace and equality, day in and day out, despite the hardships.
We salute you, DeRay. Continue to be a force in the black community.
Happy Black History Month!