The Art ofActivism: A reflection on activists who have made a difference

      Close your eyes for a moment and allow yourself to picture activists who have made an impactful imprint on your heart either from our current age or from the past. Some people who come to my mind are Jesus, Frederick Douglas, Ava Duvernay, Colin Kaepernick and Chance the Rapper. These people all had the same heart set: to advocate for the broken-hearted, to voice the pain of muffled voices, to abolish old laws and establish new ones. All these people brought winds of hope to those in despair, yet they all have done this in different ways. They displayed their hearts for activism through these forms of art: love, journalism, filmmaking, sports, and music.

      Jesus was and is, in my eyes, the biggest activist this world has ever come to know. He came down from His heavenly throne to tell the people of the Father’s love and the importance of loving one another and caring for those considered less-than. However, he did not just stop there. He showed the world that at the heart of activism is loving your neighbor and being willing to lay down your life for them. It is recognizing that not everyone’s needs are being met and we should stop at nothing until all of humanity is truly free.

      Another notable activist, Frederick Douglass, escaped from slavery on September 3 1838 and traveled all the way to New York to begin his new life. However, he carried a piece of his old life with him: his journal. He chose to document the harsh realities of being an African American slave and became an abolitionist. When he told his story of bondage, he was also telling the stories of those who still lived in slavery. His writing was a torch that passed on through generations of people of color who continued to keep the flame of activism lit.

        It’s because of people like him that we have modern day activists who because they are in the public eye have an opportunity to make a difference in the Black community. Activists such as Ava Duvernay, one of my favorite filmmakers, who makes it a point in her films to have Black people, especially Black women, in lead roles.  She portrays us in a beautiful, powerful and intelligent light which many mainstream movies fail to do. She uses her artform to show the vastness and diversity of the Black race through our different skin tones amongst other things.

      Colin Kaepernick, a former football player, used his artform to advocate for justice to be served for all of the Black lives that the “justice” system took away. He took a knee at every football game when the national anthem was sung and it has started a movement across America. Chance the Rapper also has used his music to advocate for Black youth especially in his home city of Chicago. He advocated for those who have grown up in rough neighborhoods with limited resources thanks to the government, and he pours the money that he earns back into the community and has even started his own charity. This is what makes activism so beautiful and inspiring! It can take on many different forms of art, and all you need is a cause that sets your heart on fire.


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