Black Lives Matter co-founder Alicia Garza attended the Lesbians Who Tech Summit in New York, where she spoke about a Facebook post she wrote after George Zummerman was acquitted for murdering Trayvon Martin.
Addressing a large crowd, she recalled that the post - titled A Love Letter to Black People - talked about deserving to live with dignity "no matter where we live".
Garza, a black queer woman who is a writer and public speaker, and who currently heads special projects for the National Domestic Workers Alliance, said that "today, Black Lives Matter is a hashtag, it’s an organisation with over 40 chapters in four countries, and it is the civil rights movement of our generation".
And then, she defined the meaning of power.
"For me, power means getting to make decisions over your own life," she began.
"Power means being able to determine where resources go, who they go to, where they don’t go, and who they don’t go to.
For me, power is about the ability to shape the narrative of what is right, what is wrong, what is just, what is unjust. But most importantly for me, power is about making sure that there are consequences when you’re disappointed. When the people who you elect don’t carry out the agenda that you elected them to carry out.
I think, I know, that black people deserve to be powerful. Time and time again we have challenged this country to live up to its values, freedom, justice, democracy for all.
"Our grandparents, and our parents, and now many of us have put our lives on the line to be free, and they didn’t intend to turn back, and I don’t think we should turn back either. But that means we’ve got to get serious about building power. The power we need for all black communities to live well.
And I don’t know about you, but I personally am tired of being talked to and not having my concerns, my needs, and my dreams, addressed. I’m tired of being told what I should care about, when I should care about it, rather than being engaged about what I care about, and being asked what I want to see in order to address the challenges that we face every day.