Children’s Defense Fund

Recent Articles

Power is in your person


By Marian Wright Edelman

Guest Commentator


“You know, when we started the farm workers movement, I remember going to many conferences, and people [kept asking] how do we do this?… We had to convince people that they have power. “Of course, when you say to a farm worker who doesn’t speak the English language, doesn’t have formal education, doesn’t have any assets, doesn’t have any money, that he or she has power, they say, ‘What kind of power do I have?’ And so what we had to convince the workers is you do have power, but that power is in your person. “That power is in your person, and when you come together with other workers, other people, and they also understand that they have power, this is the way that changes are made. But you can’t do it by yourself. Continue Reading →

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We need Black solutions to Black problems – Critical thinking in the Black Independence Movement



“Salvation for a race, nation or class must come from within.” 

          — A. Philip Randolph


Unless you are Herman Cain, you know that the Civil Rights Movement was ignited by young people tired of going through back doors, tired of being refused service at lunch counters, tired of living in the prison of Jim Crow. The older of us were moved to act when we saw our babies being shot with water cannons, our babies being beaten by police in riot gear. When we saw our babies maimed by vicious, hungry police dogs, their mothers and fathers said, “Not our babies!”

News to the wise: Our young are on the move again, this time against the now semi-invisible Jim Crow — the cradle-to-prison pipeline, the divestiture of public education and concurrent divestiture of the surrounding neighborhoods, the dispensing of guns to children too young to apply for a driver’s license. They are on the move against disproportionate minority contact with the police and against systems sustained off of Black misery. They are on the move against the tides that for so long have bound their ancestors — not just Harriet Tubman but us, their ancestors still here on earth. Continue Reading →

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