In honor of this November being Black and Palestinian Solidarity Month, the Students for Justice in Palestine and Emory’s own NAACP will be holding events all month long to encourage discussions among students concerning the parallels of the Black Lives Matter movement and the Palestinian cause. Other organizations, such as Hands Up United in St. Louis and The Cornerstone in Boston, have signed a declaration reaffirming their support of the Palestinian struggle and have called for other activists and organizations to stand with them. As the ferocity of the racist U.S. population and Israeli ruling classes increase, the tradition and ongoing practice of Black-Palestinian solidarity is just as important as ever.
From Israel’s brutal war on Gaza to the countless shootings that have claimed Black lives here in America, strengthened faith, resistance, and unity have surfaced in these movements from such moments of despair. Although the discrimination both communities face is not the same, the similarities in the strife both communities experience is obvious and hard to ignore, which is why many protesters are promoting a joint view of these struggles. Several Black activists and scholars such as Angela Davis, Cornel West, the Dream Defenders, and Alice Walker have taken a stand in support of those in Palestine. A video released last month entitled “When I See Them, I See Us” includes these scholars and activists in addition to talents like Lauryn Hill and Danny Glover holding signs with empowering messages of support. Palestinians were the first group to give the Mike Brown shooting an international spotlight on social media, with several taking to Twitter to give protesters advice on holding tear gas in their eyes; the same tear gas that is manufactured in Pennsylvania and used overseas in Palestine. Within the last year, both communities have faced numerous attacks on their people and each country’s systematic war with its own citizens seems far from over. As these international conversations unfold, both communities aim to focus their attention on joint struggle against discrimination, colonialism and capitalism within their countries.
Steffany Herndon, Staff Writer