Recording artist Jidenna expressed to dozens of youth and college students that Donald Trump’s presidency should be viewed as a blessing because you can’t have Moses without Pharaoh.
The NAACP’s youth and college division held the “People’s Inauguration” rally to oppose the 45th president on Saturday, Jan. 21 at the historic Metropolitan AME Church in Northwest.
Stephen Green, president of the division, CNN political commentator Symone Sanders and singer Jidenna spoke on the resistance movement against the new administration and how it must be done.
“What drew me here today is simple,” Jidenna said. “It’s a time for us to think beyond what we’ve already done. We’re known around the world as people who resist, but we can’t just be reactive. We have to think about the next 100 years. I am here today to try and change the conversation and direction of our people.”
Green mapped out in his own words what resistance actually looks like for those willing to join the movement.
“Resistance is nonviolent, direct action,” he said. “It’s going to take a lot more of us going to jail. We need lawyers helping us get out of jail and we need money to post bail.”
He claims social media has made organizing a lot easier but not necessarily better for the millennial generation.
“Martin, Malcolm and everyone back then didn’t have Facebook and Twitter but they got things done,” he said. “Social media should be used as a resource, but not as our foundation. We must be willing to use history as our roadmap.”
One of the tactics Jidenna suggested to show resistance was communication — or the lack thereof.
“We have to be covert in what we say to each other,” he said. “Everybody is so use to us being loud, speaking out and being at the forefront of every movement, we would scare them if we all just got quiet.”
He said that black people would make the most noise by simply being quiet outwardly and communicating inwardly like during slavery.
“The song ‘Wade in the Water’ wasn’t just a spiritual,” he said. “It was used to warn those on the run to stay in the water and not come out, because the slave catchers were out.”
NAACP President Cornell Brooks encouraged the young people at the rally to lead if compelled, because the doors are open.
“There will be no more of us relegating the millennial generation to the kiddie table of leadership,” Brooks said.
Jidenna, a former New York City public school teacher and community activist, said he believes that there are certain skills black and brown people need to refine in order to truly resist.
“How many of you know how to fish, farm and have weapons training? If you’re not doing that, you’re not a revolutionary,” he said. “I don’t want to throw that word around if we’re not ready for it.”