March for whose life, again?

I am here to acknowledge the African American girls whose stories do not make the front pages of every national newspaper, whose stories don’t lead on the evening news… I represent the African American women who are victims of gun violence, who are simply statistics instead of vibrant, beautiful girls full of potential.

This is what 11-year-old Naomi Wadler provokes us to ask, “who are the children marching for?” responding to the recent student-led movement for gun control on March 24, 2018. Wadler, speaking before a crowd of 2 million people to Washington D.C., reminds us that young people are so brave.

Some of the most intuitive of our kind, young people feel, develop and now more than ever, react to the erroneous rules by which we older humans govern our lives. The March For Our Lives Movement is a reaction to the nation’s recklessness around gun policies that have failed to keep our children safe, especially our Black magical babies.

Naomi Wadler, March for Our Lives rally in D.C. on March 24

Naomi’s words ignite sparks of hope for the possibility of a future where Black children are worth marching and fighting for. Wadler’s speech is a token of wealth to the #MarchForOurLives movement, because she seeks to “acknowledge the African American girls… who are simply statistics instead of vibrant, beautiful girls full of potential.” This young 11 year old is a dynamite of a woman to represent Black woman, the most powerful group of unsung heroes in the world.

Wadler’s speech is a simple cry of agrarian reform in the spaces that predominantly affect the Black community. America must remember those most criminalized, most victimized, most marginalized in every movement of social injustice, especially since the #MarchForOurLives movement calls for policy reform around gun control. The issue is that spaces in which White people are also impacted,racism and systemic violence renders the silencing of Black voices easy in this fight of policy and advocacy.

Yet, Wadler calls to attention society’s conscious and unconscious indifference of Black women as critical victims in every social fight for justice. Wadler’s courage to remind the United States of America of such racialized gendered implications, makes us proud, but also exhausted. Naomi Wadler is a young hero, facing the same old-tired-white demand that the Black woman teach us a lesson on how to be better humans.

Let’s make this clear, March For Our Lives is necessary, Naomi Wadler’s life, her message, is mandatory, and impossible to ignore. The #MarchForOurLives and #MeToo hashtag activist movements fall at the intersection of the #BlackLivesMatter movement, and this cannot be deniable.

We are so amazed by this fifth-grader, and we are so excited by her voice and strength. Wadler is #blackgirlmagic, and represents the duality of an innocent child, and jaded adult.


Wadler brings attention to the real crises surrounding America’s gun problem- racism, ignorance, and direct attacks on Black bodies. This is an exhausting, existence-consuming assignment to charge an 11-year-old with, following the February 14 shooting. The bravery to speak up came from brainstorming with a white male classmate, Carter Anderson, that elementary school students should also be present to resist and protest in observance of #MarchForOurLives.

So, they organized a walkout at Alexandria’s George Mason Elementary School. Not everyone could have attended the #MarchForOurLives protest, especially those of us who are systematically and/or physically imprisoned by the system that we live under, which champions economy over morality.When there are so many of us who could not attend the march, we are so thankful that Wadler, one of the youngest speakers at the march, could deliver such a poignant message calling out the importance of recognizing the young Black girls who have been victims of poor gun laws in the States.