Lessons for current activists and allies from Nina Revoyr’s 2003 literary crime novel “Southland”
By Vallarie Wallace
FROM: Electrict Literature
After several grueling hours of protesting against systemic injustice (no one can prepare you for long hours on your feet, long hours screaming for recognition of your humanity), we stood with our signs tucked safely under our arms as the organizer introduced some parting words. The speaker was an older Black man, the weariness of the movement evident in his face and in the way he leaned against a streetlamp for support. But his passion was clear in his speech as he declared that we were not the first to fight for our rights, and we will not be the last: he was protesting in the streets back in his early adulthood, the same way we were today. It was then that I looked at the faces of the people around me; some couldn’t be older than sixteen, and some as old as the speaker, or older. It was in the aftermath of being surrounded by these people, all aligned in our goal for the abolishment of the systemic injustices that cause Black oppression, that Nina Revoyr’s literary crime novel Southland came to mind.