Stacey Abrams, The Misappropriation of Ancestral Power


Stacey Abrams has made quite the name for herself in the past year. She was the first face viewers saw and first words spoken in defense of the sexual assault allegations made against President-elect Joe Biden. She was the face of voter suffrage during the presidential election and she remains integral to the pending and upcoming Georgia election.

Abrams undoubtedly embodies an a portrait of black power, but her behavior is also indicative of its misuse.

In 1830, David Walker published his Appeal, a pivotal black text that employs European Christianity to interrogate the not-so-domestic institution of slavery. Walker mirrored the actions of Nat Turner and Martin Delany who also employed Christianity in their contentious dealings with race. I bring this up to note that resistance often marks a rupture between core components of an anti-black society and a heightened consciousness, What Walker, Turner, and Delany teach their descendants is how to use what was implemented to defeat them as tools for liberation. What the African-descended witnesses with Abrams, is black power encased within the limitations of anti-blackness. Abrams wields her black power in support of a country that fails to prioritize the needs of blacks, and her actions suggest that blacks need not be a priority to rally in support of an anti-black government and its innately anti-black candidates.

We must stop being advocates for those who have not actualized advocacy for our community. Instead, learning from Walker and other ancestors, we must use the ways of our oppressors as pillars in our liberation, not their freedom.

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