Everyday Life Debates by Scholars and Activists
Modern society is concerned with experiences highlighted between categories of daily life, childhood, and activism. In particular, more focus is placed in different ways through which people are increasingly becoming aware, orient themselves, access and act upon issues that are of common concern (Stanford 2008, p. 33). Many issues that affect individuals either a partial or overall populations connect people to activism. Childhood is a critical aspect in this regard because it has remained resolutely excluded from the political, social and economic status of the community or general public life (Stanford 2008, p. 34). Moreover, childhood is an engaging topic since it strongly engages activism, usually from a marginalized position of everyday lives of children. This paper will discuss changes brought about by daily life discussions created through past and current childhood and activism experiences including future projections.
During the recent Golden Globes Awards, Oprah Winfrey became the first African-American women to be awarded the Cecil B DeMille Award. Winfrey received this coveted award due to her extraordinary achievement in the field of entertainment (Kaplan 2018). Previously, this prestigious designation had been awarded to few African-American male actors such as Denzel Washington. During Winfrey’s acceptance speech, she invoked critical societal issues such as sexism and racism by mentioning individuals such as Recy Taylor. All stars were dressed in unitary black designer suits and gowns in support of TimesUp project developed by women movement (Kaplan 2018).
Historically, the Women Rights Movement had been connected not only to emancipation but also to the popular movements such as the Civil Rights Movement (Desai 2013, p. 4). Due to immense activism activities conducted by women regarding talks on dismantling or emancipation, today, politicians are frequently tackling women’s right of provisions as negotiating and prerequisite points (Desai 2013, p.4). Winfrey’s speech brought out the idea or notion that women’s rights to equality have not been translating into equality towards black women or women of color. For instance, no African-American woman had ever been awarded since the inception of the Cecil B De Mille Award as Oprah Winfrey was the very first (Kaplan 2018).
The United States Women’s Movement began its activities in 1848 during New York’s Seneca Falls Convention called by activists such as Lucreta Mott and Elizabeth Cady Stanton (Schofield 2). Historically, this was the first women’s convection, which was aimed to discuss the women’s rights as well as their civil, social as well as religious conditions. Essential elements such as privileges, rights, and obligations of women were detailed in the twelve resolutions passed and included in the Declaration of Sentiments (Schofield 2006, p.2).
The main point of focus was the existing suffrage experienced by women during that period that received support from significant individuals such as Frederick Douglas, who was an abolitionist, orator and an enthusiastic supporter of women’s rights (Schofield 2006, p.3). Activists such as Oprah Winfrey use passionate speeches during international platforms to raise awareness experiences felt by marginalized people in the society. Today, many people around the world have come to learn about suffrage felt by women of color such as Recy Taylor, who was a twenty-four-year-old woman who was kidnapped and raped by six armed white men in 1944 (Kaplan 2018). Taylor’s experience invoked emotional outcomes because she died at 97 years without receiving any justice despite having to live with such memories in her lifetime. Just as Winfrey, Fredrick Douglas was able to successfully enable the passing of women’s twelve resolutions due to passionate plights to the society.
Potential Future of Women’s Movement
Oprah Winfrey aired several rousing remarks in her acceptance speech during the Golden Globe Awards. The television star called for leaders in Hollywood and across all industries to help eliminate the culture of sexual harassment including harassment experienced by women (Kaplan 2018). The acceptance speech attracted American people to reinforce and bring about the discussion regarding political changes using trending #Oprah2020, which promoted discussions regarding future talks regarding future women position. These discussions reinforced the notion that the world was expecting black women to clean up past political mistakes created by men. Such future expectations are astounding considering black women had lived under harsh conditions in a country that had historically failed to respect, reward and protect their right (Poli 2015, p.5). This notion was particularly highlighted after mentioning right civil heroes during Oprah Winfrey’s acceptance speech.
Scholars laid much emphasis studying presidential endorsement given towards Barack Obama by Oprah Winfrey during 2008 United States presidential campaigns (Davies 1970, p.51). During that period, she was considered as the most influential women globally compelling scholars in the field of economics to estimate that such an endorsement was worth millions of votes. In fact, after Obama’s successful race in the presidential election, scholars indicated that it would have been unsuccessful without her endorsement (Kaku 1997, p.12). However, gestures demonstrated by the host of talk show failed to create a political platform as she has always been a passionate champion for the rights of women in the public sphere. Over the years, Winfrey has skillfully integrated civic engagement and advocacy towards millions of people who are her ardent listeners.
Effects of Historical Racial Movements on Current Black Lives Movement
The black lives movement has its foundation on advocacy issues relayed during civil rights movements led by historical figures such as Martin Luther King (Alkhouja 2016, p.11). During the popular ‘I have a dream’ speech, King was able to foresee a nation that was free of discrimination and that which upheld democracy. Today, it is plausible to indicate that such projections are slowly but successfully becoming a reality not only in America but also in other racially mixed nations. The successful presidential candidacy of Barack Obama in country that recorded high degrees of discrimination and human right abuse directed towards the black community was a significant source of triumph and a positive indicator of the possibility of democracy to the lives of African-Americans (Kaku 1997, p.53).
Impacts of Social Rights Movements and Activism
Success received by social rights movements has established a precedent or created opportunities for other individuals who were marginalized in the community to fight for their rights (Alkhouja 2016, p.12). Today, the United States is faced with the dilemma whether a first female and black woman would hold the highest political office in the next presidential elections, which will be held in 2020. However, if Oprah Winfrey runs for the presidency would force her to outline her political ground. As a result, most or a section of her ardent supporters would feel alienated from her ideology as her universal brand had never been associated or affiliated with certain political ideologies. Nonetheless, for women movement and in particular, women of color, that would point towards a significant triumph.
Politics, Women’s Rights Movement and Women of Color
In future, it is worth to note that women such as Hillary Clinton are increasingly placing and exerting themselves in political issues surrounding the United States. For Women’s Rights Movement, privileged political offices such as the presidency would sorely test their ability to attracting economic, social and political change in the societies (Claassen 2007, p.7). In addition, given the current America’s racial discontent women and particularly women of color will be met with high social challenges of bringing about equality in societies as well as the ability to respond to marginalized communities.
In this context, childhood offers an opportunity for individuals to think about lived experiences of activism and everyday lives. Therefore, it is critical to evaluate autobiographical narratives of famous marginalized people’s growing up experiences in the United States including occupying historical events that followed after that. To successfully highlight political, social and economic issues as brought forth by scholars and activists, it is essential to recount lived experiences because they provide opportunities of disrupting prevailing powerful categories in circulation used under the lens of childhood and activism.
The idea of feminism was brought into the discussion after Oprah Winfrey’s favorite speech with claims that feminism movement had never incorporated issues of women of color. Considering various studies on various platforms such as social media, such notion or narrative has not changed. There are claims that voices or plights of women of color are typically drowned out by feminists who are mainly white, who on many occasions refuse to regard issues outside their lens and experiences. In essence, feminism movements are receiving sharp criticism for running the campaign based on their color of skin or religious beliefs instead of their genetic makeup.
This analysis argues that current and future research studies regarding the intersection of childhood, activism as well as everyday life is beneficial to the society by exploring the temporal and spatial dimension of activism. The main aim is to make visible all unfolding biographical projects developed by scholars, activists including movements such as those of women and people of color while at the same time seeking to engage with their ensuing emotional configurations created by every issue that matters to adults and children.
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