So I’ve elected to delay the posting of this response until after the Black Lives Matter talk. Going to this talk was arguably the most inspiring two hours of my time at Hamilton. Going into the talk I wasn’t too familiar with the organizational work of BLM (of course I knew of the protests) and left highly impressed. Both Alicia and Malachi were super composed and unbelievably well informed about social movements and the history of civil rights movement in the USA. I was particularly moved by Malachi’s work in regards to developing the youth criminal punishment systems in the USA. While listening to Alicia speak on the political right’s condemnation of BLM, I couldn’t help but recall Maya Angelou’s And Still I Rise. Angelou writes:
"You may shoot me with your words, You may cut me with your eyes, You may kill me with your hatefulness, But still, like air, I’ll rise."
I believe that this stanza relates directly to BLM’s struggles as a peaceful movement being labelled as aggressive and hateful. Garza is currently being forced to defend her organization tooth and nail, but is also forced into doing so with the utmost civility as to counter the labels that are being applied to her by media outlets. Despite the aggressive tactics employed by the right–through acts such as the “all lives matter” campaign, Garza will rise and BLM will succeed. I was more impressed than I thought possible, and I can honestly say that after leaving that theater, I felt as though I’d been blessed to learn from someone who could very easily take the role of the leader of the modern civil rights movement.