Who is Tamika D. Mallory? She is an activist who has worked in the social justice trenches as co-founder of both “Until Freedom,” a diverse social justice organization and the historic Women’s March on Washington. Mallory served as the youngest executive director for the National Action Network. “State of Emergency: How We Win in the Country We Built” is Mallory’s effort to help readers understand the history that people of color in America seem to repeatedly revisit. The book title is taken from an impromptu speech Mallory gave last year after the May 25, 2021 murder of George Floyd. From that moment to the current state of affairs in America, Mallory examines how attempts at justice have been mishandled. She includes the Jan. 6, 2021 insurrection.
“I do not think the state of emergency has changed. We are in a country where there have been different periods of our struggle. It’s taken on different forms,” Mallory said at a recent Smithsonian event. “Nothing has really changed except there is an urgency to deal with justice and equity in America.”
Our History Brings Us Here
After the George Floyd speech, writing this book took a more definitive path. She juggled speaking engagements, media interviews and speaking out on questionable shootings by law enforcement. In the course of their work, Mallory and members of her team tested positive for COVID-19. Mallory stated on a scale of one to ten for her coronavirus diagnosis, she was at a number six. Also, Malloy’s mother had a stroke due to the pandemic, so visiting was not an option. Mallory acknowledged this is what happens when on the front line during a pandemic.
Educating ourselves is at the heart of “State of Emergency.” Mallory lays out what happens from disparities that Black and brown people face. COVID-19 shined a brighter light on health disparities. She doesn’t miss disparities in transportation, emergency services, education and accessing fresh healthy food in many communities.
“We have to go to the places where we can bring awareness to the leaders and to our causes,” Mallory said when explaining surviving through a pandemic.
Messages from Two Activists
Another indicator of Mallory’s commitment to teaching history was engaging Cardi B and Angela Davis, Ph.D. to write forewords for “State of Emergency.” Cardi B shares her doubts on where she fits in the justice dialogue.
In her forward, “Is there room for someone like me?” Cardi B says, “I ain’t no activist. Tamika is the activist. She is the one people need. I’m just a real-ass bitch who’s not afraid to speak up when I see something wrong.”
In her forward, Davis assures Cardi B that her words and her platforms are needed. She says, “Just as this movement requires the sturdy shoulders, forceful words, and steady leadership of our sister Tamika, we also need your vision, your creative power, and your unabashed political interventions. you inspire Tamika – and you inspire all of us.”
“State of Emergency” is the first book from multimedia mogul and bestselling author Charlamagne Tha God’s new imprint, Black Privilege Publishing from Atria Books at Simon & Schuster. As the first book released by Black Privilege Publishing, Mallory clearly gives her charge.
“The people, who have toiled, sacrificed and contributed an indelible handprint from the soil to the soul of this nation, will no longer tolerate the continual systemic injustice, inequality, inequity, and indignities against the communities our government never bothered to correct. We’re owed the same American Dream of this nation as those who seek the haven of it. And the time is now.”
Instagram and Twitter: @TamikaDMallory