The Black Lives Matter movement began from pain and the call for justice from the Black community that led and inspired a plethora of youth to be knowledgeable about their cause and what is most important to resonate with when it comes to social action in your community. Young black activists have been the catalysts for civil right movements dating back to the 60s, but with the use of from vocalizing their stances on social media outlets to making themselves heard on national television, youth activism has been even more powerful. Honoring a few activists for there efforts, here are seven young black activists you need to know about who is making a change in your community.
Little Miss Flint
Photo furnished by Loui Brezzell
It’s definitely no secret who Little Miss Flint is and the impact that she has made over the past few years. Mari Copeny, an 8-year-old Michigan native, has been the face of advocating for Flint, Michigan to restore clean water since April 2014. At only eight years old, Copeny drafted a letter to former President Obama requesting him to meet and hear from citizens of the affected areas. Though she is only 8 years old, the young activist has never shied away from using social media to call out the disparities and systematic racism in America.
Photo Credit Teen Vogue
This amazing young lady has been at activism since the age of 13. Woods is now 17, still at the forefront of projects such as the Hope for Humanity Project in St. Louis. On top of her many involvements, she appeared on the cover of Teen Vogue gun control issue cover. “It feels so good to have black voices elevated in this discussion, considering it affects us daily,” Kenidra Woods says. “We feel like we matter, as we should. It also shows our white counterparts that it’s OK to pass the mic because we all deserve to have it.” Woods’ passion stemmed from the area she was raised in and the effect gun violence had brought into her community and the lives it had taken.
Photo Credit i-D Magazine – Vice
This extraordinary young woman has been an advocate for queer rights and equality primarily in minority communities. Jamal is a transgender, black and independent filmmaker of No Fats, No Femmes. “I want this film to exist as a model for what is possible when we dare to make ourselves and do so audaciously,” Fatima Jamal says. “I want it to reach as many black [fat] femmes assigned male at birth as possible. I want them to feel my love for them.” She is also a woman of many talents who is able to sing, dance, write, produce, direct along with so many more.
Photo Credit CBS News
Marley Dias is the creator of the #1000BlackGirlBooks campaign, but to focus in on only books that featured black young ladies as the main characters! For the duration of her campaign, she managed to collect over 9,000 books to donate. Since then she has become the author of her own novels Marley Dias Gets It Done: And So Can You!
Photo Credit Purposely Awakened
The next influential black activist on our list is 12-year-old Naomi Wilder. Walder is an elementary student in Alexandria, Virginia who has a passion for gun control and reform. She is especially an advocate for these issues amongst black female victims. She even participated in the 2018 March for Our Lives in Washington, D.C. and spoke among the crowd about how gun violence disproportionately affects black women primarily.
Photo Credit Interesting Engineering
Kelvin, who was only six, was renowned as one of his country’s own leading technological inventors. When the civil war in his country, Sierra Leone ended, he was faced with many obstacles such as his young age and lack of traditional engineering education. In 2012, Doe, now 15-years-old, became the youngest “visiting practitioner” with the MIT International Development Initiative. Here he had a plethora of opportunities such as participating in research and teaching fellow engineering students at Harvard University.
Photo Credit YouTube
Shawn DeAngelo is the last on our list of black activists to have on your radar. DeAngelo is a former student at Morehouse College. He opened up the first black-owned bicycle shop in the metro Atlanta area. WeCycle Atlanta was something this young black man had a brighter vision for versus just retail. This shop provides surrounding communities with other positives such as bike riding lessons, education programming and bike customization for something a little more special for their ride. The bike shop is also a non-profit organization, WeCycle Atlanta Inc., which focuses on teaching the WHEELS (Work, Ethics, Health, Environment, Economics, Leadership, Sustainability) model through practical lessons in cycling and urban agriculture.