I don’t know whether any of your names will be recorded in history books as the early leaders of a bold, courageous movement that not only ended solitary confinement as a form of torture, but also ended the entire system of mass incarceration in this country. But I know that the entire movement for freedom and justice in the United States is indebted to you.
Ty-Licia Hooker was a recent winner at the Black Girls Rock! awards ceremony, which aired on BET, for her work with the Stockton based non-profit that she co-founded for under-achieving students, called the Summer Success and Leadership Academy. Still in her early 20s, this dynamic young leader is on the rise and getting ready to take her project national.
Recently, I had an opportunity to speak with Cynthia McKinney, and I asked her about leadership. She replied that at the local level in the Black communities, there is leadership. It no longer gets media coverage, but it is there. Real leaders are those with the courage to dissent and to resist. It is the act of resistance that transforms an elected person into a leader.