WATCH: Arrested for activism: "One of the officers whispered 'Really give it to her'"

Blair Imani on her activism after she was arrested for protesting for Alton Sterling

By D. Watkins

Editor at Large

Published July 30, 2017 6:00PM (EDT)

Activist Blair Imani is the founder and executive director of Equality for HER, a nonprofit educational platform for female-identifying individuals.

Imani rose to national attention when she was arrested while peacefully protesting the death of Alton Sterling, a 37-year-old black man who was shot multiple times while he was in police custody, and viral images of her screaming in cuffs while being subdued by two police officers flooded the internet.

Unfortunately, the cops who killed Sterling will not be charged. That news did not stop Imani, as she is still fighting to bring about positive change. Her new project is "Modern HerStory," a book that she says is “a resource for the empowerment of children, teens and adults who feel like they do not have a mirror to themselves. Through this book, we are expanding the discussion of WHO can make history -- or in this case HERstory.”

Imani stopped by the Salon studio recently to talk about the incident and how activism should work.

We protest, we work inside of the system outside of the system, we get frustrated and we break things and it’s the same results happen every time: these people just get to walk away.

It’s definitely something that troubles me. It’s something that makes it hard to sleep. And that’s where a lot of my activism falls, finding that thing that makes it hard to sleep.

Where I find my role to be is this position of education — helping folks unlearn those fears from a young age and making sure the black kids and the brown kids who are feeling that violence recognize that they are not the way they are being treated by the system.

Watch more of our conversation about activism and ways you can help Blair make a difference.

By D. Watkins

D. Watkins is an Editor at Large for Salon. He is also a writer on the HBO limited series "We Own This City" and a professor at the University of Baltimore. Watkins is the author of the award-winning, New York Times best-selling memoirs “The Beast Side: Living  (and Dying) While Black in America”, "The Cook Up: A Crack Rock Memoir," "Where Tomorrows Aren't Promised: A Memoir of Survival and Hope" as well as "We Speak For Ourselves: How Woke Culture Prohibits Progress." His new books, "Black Boy Smile: A Memoir in Moments," and "The Wire: A Complete Visual History" are out now.

MORE FROM D. Watkins

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Activism Alton Sterling Black Lives Matter Blair Imani Equality For Her Modern Herstory Salon Talks