Edited by Azizi Powell
This pancocojams post is a video and an unofficial transcript of Viola Davis' powerful speech at the 2018 Women's March in Los Angeles, California. Other Women's Marches were held in a number of cities throughout the United States.
The content of this post is presented for sociological, cultural, political, motivational, and inspirational purposes.
All copyrights remain with their owners.
Thanks to Viola Davis, and all the organizers and participants of the Women's March, Me Too Movement, and Resist! Movements.
Click https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/20/us/womens-march.html for a New York Times article about the Women's Marches in the United States (January 20,2018).
This daily kos diary includes photos and comments about the Women's Marches in various United States cities: https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2018/1/20/1734458/-Stronger-than-ever-Check-out-the-massive-roaring-crowds-across-the-nation-for-the-Women-s-March. [Warning for those working at schools or other public institutions: There's one instance of profanity occurs in the comments.]
SHOWCASE VIDEO: Viola Davis speaks at Women's March
CNN, Published on Jan 20, 2018
Actress Viola Davis gave a passionate speech at the Women's March in Los Angeles.
Added January 21, 2018
I also want to note that I was particularly impressed with Viola Davis' large early 21st century non-defined, freely coiled hair natural hair, which is quite different from the large Angela Davis type halo shaped afros of the late 1960s and the 1970s.
However, I was disappointed and disgusted to read a number of the comments in that YouTube video's discussion thread which were racially offensive, including some comments that referred to Ms. Davis as a monkey, and some comments that were sexually offensive. When I read some of that discussion thread, those types of negative comments outnumbered the ones that were politically supportive of Trump and, therefore, opposed to the causes that Viola Davis discussed.
UNOFFICIAL TRANSCRIPT OF VIOLA DAVIS' SPEECH AT WOMEN'S MARCH 2018
"In the words of my fellow American, Malcolm X, I'm gonna make it plain.
In 1877, America, the greatest country on this planet, put laws in place called the Jim Crow laws. And the Jim Crow laws restricted the rights to quadroons, octoroons, Blacks, Hispanics, Indians, and Malays. Restricted medical. Restricted relationships. Restricted education.Restricted life.
It told us that we were "less than" and it came on the heels of the 13th Amendment. It came on the heels of fifty five individual great Americans writing the greatest document called the Constitution of the United States, saying "We the people".
Now the reason why those destructive laws came into place, I think can be greatly described by Martin Luther King. And what he said about time is. He said "I'm not ready to wait a hundred years, or two hundred years for things to change. That I think actually that time is neutral. That it can either be used constructively or destructively. That human progress rarely rolls in on inevitability. It is through human dedication, an effort, that we move forward. And that when we don't work, what happens is that time actually becomes an ally to the primitive forces of social stagnation. And the guardians of the status quo are in their oxygen tanks keeping the old order alive.
And so that time needs to be helped by every single moment doing right.
And the reason why these Jim Crow laws were in place that stifled my rights and your rights is because we fell asleep.
We fall asleep when we're moving ahead and we don't look to the left and the right and see that we're no including people in this move ahead. Because really, at the end of the day, we only move forward when it doesn't cost of anything. But I'm here today saying that no one and nothing can be great unless it cost you something.
One out of every five women will be sexually assaulted and raped before she reaches the age of eighteen. One out of six boys. If you are a woman of color and you are raped before you reach the age of eighteen, than you are 66% more likely to be sexually assaulted again.
Seventy percent of girls who are sex trafficed are girls of color. They are coming out of the foster care system. They a re coming out of poverty. It is a billion dollar industry. When they go into the sex trafficing business- and they call it a business, trust me - more than likely they are gang raped.
I am speaking today not just for the 'Me Toos', 'cause I was a 'Me Too,' but when I raise my hand, I am aware of all the women who are still in silence. The women who are faceless. The women who don't have the money and don't have the constitution and who don't have the confidence and who don't have the images in our media that gives them a sense of self-worth enough to break their silence that's rooted in the shame of assault, that's rooted in the stigma of assault.
Written on the Statue of Liberty is "Come, Come you tiredless, poor, yearning to breath free- to breath free."
Every single day, your job as an American citizen is not just to fight for your rights. It's to fight for the right of every individual that is taking a breath, whose heart is pumping and breathing on this earth..
And like the originators of this "Me Too", the Fannie Lou Hamers, the Recy Taylor who in 1944 was gang raped by six White men, and she spoke up. Rosa Parks fought for her rights. She was silenced. To the Tarana Burkes. To the originators, the first women to speak out -it cost them something. Nothing and no one can be great without a cost.
Listen, I am always introduced as an award winning actor. But my testimony is one of poverty. My testimony is one of being sexually assaulted, and was very much seeing a childhood that was robbed from me. And I know that every single day when I think of that, I know that the trauma of those events are still with me today. And that's what drives me to, to the voting booth. That's what allows me to listen to the women who are still in silence. That's what allows me, even to become a citizen on this planet, is the fact that we are here to connect. That we are here as three hundred and twenty four million people living on this earth to know that every day that we breath and we live that we gotta bring up everyone with us.
I stand in solidarity with all women who raise their hands because I know that it was not easy. And my hope for the future, my hope- and I do hope- that we never go back.
That it's not a just about clapping your hands and screaming and shouting every time someone says something that sounds good. It's about keeping it rolling once you go home."
This is my transcription of Viola Davis' speech* which is shown in the video given above. I used italics to represent the words that Ms Davis emphasized in this speech. The space near the beginning of this speech represents a (I believe purposeful pause that Ms. Davis made in her remarks.
This transcription doesn't include audience cheers to this speech.
Additions and corrections are welcome.
For the record, Ms. Davis isn't looking at any notes while she deliver this speech.
Here are links to some information about the four specific women that Viola Davis gave a shout out to in her speech:
"Fannie Lou Hamer (/ˈheɪmər/; born Fannie Lou Townsend; October 6, 1917 – March 14, 1977) was an American voting rights activist, a leader in the Civil Rights Movement, and philanthropist who worked primarily in Mississippi. She was instrumental in organizing Mississippi's Freedom Summer for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). She was the vice-chair of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party, which she represented at the 1964 Democratic National Convention in Atlantic City, New Jersey."...
"Recy Taylor (née Corbitt; December 31, 1919 – December 28, 2017):297 was an African American woman from Abbeville in Henry County, Alabama, US. She was born and raised in a sharecropping family in the Jim Crow era Southern United States. Taylor's refusal to remain silent about a brutal rape she suffered, perpetrated by white men, led to organizing in the African-American community on behalf of justice and civil rights."
"Rosa Louise McCauley Parks (February 4, 1913 – October 24, 2005) was an activist in the Civil Rights Movement, whom the United States Congress called "the first lady of civil rights" and "the mother of the freedom movement".
On December 1, 1955, in Montgomery, Alabama, Parks refused to obey bus driver James F. Blake's order to give up her seat in the "colored section" to a white passenger, after the whites-only section was filled. Parks was not the first person to resist bus segregation. Others had taken similar steps, including Bayard Rustin in 1942, Irene Morgan in 1946, Lillie Mae Bradford in 1951, Sarah Louise Keys in 1952, and the members of the ultimately successful Browder v. Gayle 1956 lawsuit (Claudette Colvin, Aurelia Browder, Susie McDonald, and Mary Louise Smith) who were arrested in Montgomery for not giving up their bus seats months before Parks. NAACP organizers believed that Parks was the best candidate for seeing through a court challenge after her arrest for civil disobedience in violating Alabama segregation laws, although eventually her case became bogged down in the state courts while the Browder v. Gayle case succeeded.
Parks' act of defiance and the Montgomery bus boycott became important symbols of the modern Civil Rights Movement. She became an international icon of resistance to racial segregation"...
From https://hellogiggles.com/news/me-too-movement-black-woman/ "Actually, a black woman created the "Me Too" movement 10 years ago" by CAITLIN GALLAGHER, October 18, 2017
..."Although most people think the idea originated with Milano, the original “Me Too” movement was started by Tarana Burke, and she created the campaign for the youth organization Just Be Inc. in 2007"....
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