Tamika Mallory

Speech at the 2017 Women's March on Washington - Jan. 21, 2017

Tamika Mallory
January 21, 2017— Washington, D.C.
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Thank you so much. I am so proud to stand here with all of you today, to be in service to you. Because this was truly a service opportunity for all of us who work for you. It has been such an honor to work alongside the co-chairs – Bob Bland, Linda Sarsour and the birthday girl who you just heard from, Carmen Perez. [cheers]

Today is not a concert. It is not a parade, and it is not a party. Today is an act of resistance. [cheers]

Now some of you came here to protest one man. I didn't come here for that. I came here to address those of you who say you are of good conscious. To those of you who experienced a feeling of being powerless, disparaged, victimized, antagonized, threatened and abused. To those of you who for the first time felt the pain that my people have felt since they were bought here with chains shackled on our legs. [cheers]

Today I say to you, welcome to my world. Welcome to our world. I stand here as a black woman, the descendant of slaves. My ancestors literally nursed our slave masters. Through the blood and tears of my people, we built this country. [cheers]

America cannot be great without me, you and all of us who are here today. [cheers] Today you may be feeling aggrieved, but know that this country has been hostile to its people for a long time. For some of you, it is new. For some of us, it is not so new at all.

Today I am marching for black and brown lives, for Sandra Bland, for Philando Castile, for Tamir Rice, for Aiyana Stanley-Jones, for Eric Garner, for Michael Brown, for Trayvon Martin, and for those nine people who were shot at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. [cheers]

We have a chance, brothers and sisters, to get this thing right. We can do it if women rise up and take this nation back. When you go back home, remember how you felt. What made you – that instinct, that gut – that said, "I gotta get on a bus, a plane, a train – no matter what – to protect my children." That feeling – take it back to wherever it is that you came from today.

You have awoken a new and renewed spirit, and I am so excited to be a part of this with all of you. [cheers]

But, to be quiet in our whisper, to speak low about it, is not going to get it done. We must be bold, the way you were bold to come here in these large numbers today.

When you feel that we are not taking care of one another properly, put your feelings aside, put your pride aside, and stand up for the most marginalized people in this society. Because if you stand for them, you stand for all.

Dr. King said, "I will not remember the harsh words of my enemies. I will remember the silence of my friends."

God bless you. [cheers]

#BlackLivesMatter, #BLM, #WomensMarch, #PowerToThePolls