The subjugation of Black People should be recognized
They say that Black people are still living in the past, they ask “Why talk about historical reparation? What was the damage? What were the consequences?"
It is easy to turn one's face and ignore reality, but it weighs so much that it is difficult to make it invisible. Discrimination against Black people is marked and is evidenced by the lack of guarantees, strategies, and acceptance of laws, such as Law 70 in Colombia. Laws that would secure our well-being, creating different futures and the effective enjoyment of our rights. Genocide and social inequality continue to be a great example of racism, not only in Colombia but also around the world. For this reason, today, on International Human Rights Day, Black Women and Girls continue to fight, raising their voices and demanding the recognition and implementation of their Human Rights because rights that are not gifts, but, as they say, the Preamble of the Universal Declaration of Human and Human Rights, "While the recognition of the intrinsic dignity and the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice, and peace in the world". - Sara Quiñones
Sara Quiñones, AfroResistance Fellow
Team’s portrait: Sara Quiñones, Fellow at AfroResistance
When she officially joined AfroResistance in January 2020, Sara Quiñones had spent decades working in a movement to protect and defend the rights and the lands of Black people in Colombia.
From her very first partnership with us, in October 2019, as part of our International Women’s Delegation in Colombia, we noticed from the beginning what she is.
Bold, striking, passionate. An example of what it means to be a Black woman continuing the work of her ancestors, inspiring the generations to come, and fighting for her and her communities not just to live, but thrive.
Sara is an activist at the Proceso de Comunidades Negras (Black Communities Process) and was elected President of the Consejo Comunitario Alto Mira y Frontera in 2014, in Colombia. She has denounced different types of violence in her home country and has experienced persecution and threats by armed groups.
As Sara points out, her life as an activist started when she was a child, while she watched her mother fighting for their Black territories in Colombia, just like her aunts did. The decades of war in her home country led Sara to experience “everything that she should not have” and that violates any “individual and collective” rights.
After denouncing constant threats and being forced to resign as Vice President of the Consejo Comunitario Alto Mira y Frontera, Sara was politically persecuted by the Colombian State and deprived of liberty from April 2018 to July 2019.
Many situations have marked her life history, from the abusive marriage her mother endured, to being assaulted as a child and almost being homeless. Sara reminds those days emphasizing that Black girls should be protected all the time.
When she talks, her voice clearly states what it is at the core of her heart, as her eyes express her deep and sincere feelings.
“I remember thinking how society could turn their face to what girls like myself endured” and “how solidarity is scarce and gives way to forgetfulness”.
During those difficult times, it was Black women who brought healing.
“It was living in a territory full of life that allowed me to take a different path. That’s why I raise my voice to defend my people and denounce violations of our rights”.
As a fellow at AfroResistance, Sara sets the path to what a future could look like. She is the first fellow of the organization’s Poderosxs Fellowship, a fellowship for Black women and girls who have been impacted by incarceration in the Americas.
"My experience with AfroResistencia has been wonderful. From the first moment I walked alongside these women who radiated love, my feelings were awakened in such a way that I felt and continue to feel that they are part of the arduous healing process that I have been conducting for many years. I am healing from the persecution by armed groups and the Colombian State".
When it comes to Black liberation, Sara does not take it lightly.
“I want and I wish to see my people walking as if we were one soul. I want to see all the Black People united celebrating a world free of persecution and extermination”.
Sara Quiñones dreams of a future where she is able to dream again, support Black women, and give back to her community since she was forced to leave her territory due to persecution by illegal armed groups.
In addition to her mother, who taught her a good part of what she is today, Sara has a number of Black women who inspire her. She mentions Charo Minas-Roja and Janvieve Williams Comrie, as “women who live to secure the rights of the Black People, especially Black women, with great tenacity”. For Quiñones, “their perspectives of life show us the commitment it takes to make sure Black women’s rights are secured”.
More about Sara:
Luta Anti-Racista: 6 días de Activismo contra la violencia a mujeres y niñas
Territorios Historicamente Negros y Soberania Alimentar - Una Conversación Con Mayoras