Mikisa Thompson

I’m not sure where to start but all my life… more than half of it I have been a black mom. My purpose for being is seeing the spark and fire in the eyes of my children to help rid this capitalistic, racist american nation of all vestiges of white supremacy. While uplifting the black voice and experience.

Teaching myself and my children how to recognize identify and then shine a spotlight on injustice was grown up in me because of where I’m from. I’m from a segregated town in New York.

The Brooklyn neighborhood that I grew up in is Crown Heights. I remember Crown Heights when Jewish people or white people in general would not pass the line of Eastern Parkway know for the epic display of the Caribbean diaspora. The annual West Indian Day parade and street fair along Eastern Parkway has attracted huge crowds with Regge music, colorful costumes and native food for decades.
Also known as the Labor Day Parade. Always thrown on the first weekend of September to celebrate Labor Day and the Independence of many Caribbean Nations.

Black people shaped and molded my life in such a way that humbles me until today. I was taught at an early age to nurture yourself and community we had such well know sights of history such as Weeksvile. (http://www.weeksvillesociety.org) Weeksville is one of America’s first free black communities during the 19th century.

However, on the flip side my old neighborhood is also home to the notorious 77th police precinct. (http://articles.latimes.com/…/n…/mn-8971_1_police-department) I remember walking past this precinct on my way to grade school P.S. 335 Granville T. Woods Elementary. Colorful tops lining the ground, years later I made the connection to now call those tops what they were… they were tops to the glass vials crack would be sold in ‘crack tops’. Crack was a drug saturating and ripping apart our neighborhoods politically and internally where victims of crack were criminalized instead of being seen as people to be helped and given a second chance. Like the new wave of legal opioids gave way to sympathizers willing to re-habilitate these mostly white victims of opiod abuse.

It was a normal and regular occurrence to hear gunshots in the air to help put you to sleep at night. I remember the early mornings and late night kitchen table talks my Mom and Dad would have discussing the latest ways Reagan who was president at the time would infiltrate their existence with his racist and divisive tactics to further beat them down.

My childhood upbringing shaped me into who I am today for the best because I wasn’t handed a silver spoon in my life and this is what I teach my children. Also, I was acutely aware of the ways which capitalism divided us residentialy and academically (our white teachers commuted into our neighborhoods from long island NY we had no white children in my school from 3rd grade to high school).

I’ve always known that I would have to work towards getting what I needed and wanted for myself and my family. My parents are immigrants from Jamaica and I’m a first generation Jamerican. My Mom (Home Health Nurse) and Dad (Bricklayer) were long time union members and I am honored to assist with building a strong union in a Southern town that in many ways replicates my childhood with such racially divided lines to live and work in.

Let’s continue to Grow UE150 from the ground up to forge an alliance with the working people of the south for better wages jobs and the right to work while black.