Wed. Jun 26th, 2019

What is activism?

Cody Phelps
news editor
What is activism? To some, it’s the small everyday things people do to to make waves in the current social structure. To others, it’s the earth shattering, outspoken change that comes only from the advocates who speak their truth to the masses.
Either way you look at it, there is an outpouring of activism in the world today. People are fed up with being told who they are and what they are allowed to do. This month is one that celebrates that very idea. Black History Month celebrates those who have made change to bring equality to the African-American community.
Everyone has heard of the big names who brought with them a change that would shape the path for the rest of the world. The names like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, President Barack Obama, Rosa Parks, Malcolm X and more. Their work has made change that we still see every day but it is not finished, there is still work to be done.
That work is being done by some of the biggest names in the world. There are still protests for cultural groups like Black Lives Matter to this day. There are marches being made by people not to dissimilar to those led by Dr. King.
However, a lot of activism today isn’t necessarily done in the street, it isn’t done in front of the White House. It’s being done through the voices of those who have a platform. It’s in music and film and television, it’s in pop culture.
Just a few years ago, recording artist Joyner Lucas released his single “I’m not racist” which started an important conversation regarding the misunderstandings between people regarding race. That music video won awards and praise from many regardless of its controversial nature. It was a viral sensation because people cared about the message. That’s just an example of the way activism is being done today.
Another example of this pop culture activism is the 2017 horror film “Get Out” directed by Jordan Peele. The film had some not so subtle ideals about modern racism that were seen by millions of people. It embodied the problems that are still present in society today. This film garnered quite an amount of success while spreading a message about change. People loved it so much that Peele is making a sequel that will deal heavily with the same problems.
Pay close attention to the world around you. You’ll see people, you’ll hear people, you’ll witness people making the change that needs to be done. The work that was started all those years ago has come a long way, but it is not done. The fight is not over, but it is being fought everywhere you look.
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