The Three Pillars of Activism


Three Pillars 2

A lot of people act like social activism is impossible. Like they simply don’t have the time nor the means. That’s really not the case. Every can contribute something. Activism is a like a house. You need people to blueprint it, people to build it, and people to fund it. Everyone can pitch in and contribute something by going through one of the three pillars described in this article.


1: Architects (Intellectual)

Planning, brainstorming, organization.

You don’t have t be a so-called genius to have good ideas. Anyone can have a good idea. You don’t need an IQ of 130 and a Ph.D in something we can’t pronounce to have good ideas and leadership skills. Despite this pillar being the more mental side of activism, it doesn’t mean you don’t put in work. There’s effort that goes into organizing and pushing for legislation to be changed. Simply coming up with an idea isn’t enough. Imagine if an inventor had an idea for a revolutionary product, but never actually went through to get the paperwork in order to patent it or get people to help him create this product. He’d be a broke ass inventor who’d probably complain about how his idea was “stolen” 15 years later.

We all have that friend who comments on social issues saying something like, “What we should do is [insert solution]”… and that’s about as far as they’ll go concerning it. A lot of people will spew ideas and solutions to issues, but never try to actually solve them.

Freedom of speech is just a part of the First Amendment, you also have Freedom of Assembly. Organize, organize, organize.

And a good idea is nothing if you don’t have the funds to enact it (benefactors) or the manpower needed to make it happen (builders).


Example: The Big Six

If you want to know more about them, check out this link or wait for Latti to do a post on them (which she will, trust me). Basically, they were six leaders for the southern campaigns during the Civil Rights Era of the 60’s. Now, there were major things going on in the west (Black Panthers) and the north (Freedom Riders, which came down to the south) headed by other leaders, but the famous marches and speeches you’ve seen in text booked were mostly helmed and organized by these six men.

The mind is important.


2: Builders (Physical)

Enforcing, enacting, building.

Arguably the most important pillar. You need boots on the ground. The March on Selma wouldn’t have been shit if you actually didn’t have people there supporting the cause and walking around in the flesh. However, without the other two pillars people can become misguided (architects) and resources (benefactors) can deplete fairly quickly.


Example: Huey P. Netwon

Yes, he was the leader and founder of the Panthers, but he also put in work. He was out on the streets, in the schools, doing whatever he could to better his community.


Newton enjoying a sunny afternoon in Oakland, California.

Contrary to popular belief, the Panthers weren’t as violent as they were/have been portrayed. They believed in self-defense mainly as a necessary means to help empower their community. The bulk of their actions focused on community programs designed to uplift the people. Such as free breakfast and lunch programs for children. All of which took builders to accomplished. Money bought the food (benefactors) and it was planned (architects), but it took physical effort to help those kids and impoverished people in the community.

But yeah, they weren’t violent.

“We’ll talk about killin’ white folks in a second, but first let’s have pancakes.”

As a matter of fact, the FBI created fake coloring books to try to portray the Panthers as more violent and hateful than they actually were. Check these out:

This one is just beyond fucked up. But COINTELPRO is another topic in itself.

Off topic, anyway…

The masses are important.


3: Benefactors (Financial)

Funding, boycotting, resources.

Money talks. It doesn’t just talk, it walks and does backflips through fire rings if used wisely. Putting money towards a cause can be very, very powerful is done right. You need a good cause to give to, which is where organization (architects) comes in. However, this organization needs to be productive (builders).


Example: Harry Belafonte


Even if you’re not a fan of the man, you can’t deny his contributions to the movement. He was a major source of funding. Provoking Coretta Scott King to state in her memoirs: “whenever we got into trouble or when tragedy struck, Harry has always come to our aid, his generous heart wide open”

That nigga opened his wallet too, raising a considerable amount of money during the movement, even 50,000 dollars while King was in jail so the Birmingham Campaign could continue. Notice how I said he raised money. Meaning the entire community pitched in. Donating to a cause you care about is something nearly everyone can do.

This was common among black entertainers during the 60’s. Many gave money and raised money for the cause. Even Josephine Baker’s goofy ass.

Those fuckin’ eyes give me nightmares.

Sam Cooke, James Brown, and Ruby Dee are just a few in the long, long line of entertainers who supported the movement. Unlike a lot of black entertainers today. Remember when Lil Wayne said that “thing” about Emmett Till, and then gave a half-assed apology?

He is literally a fucking gremlin for that.

It’s preferable that the socially conscious person does all three or at least tries. Martin Luther King Jr. did all three. Not only did you see him organizing, but you saw him boycotting, putting money towards the causes he cared about, and also taking asswhoopings during those marches. But then again, that was MLK.

“Get on my level, Malcolm.” – MLK, 1964

Organize, volunteer, or donate.

Pick one, or all three if you can.







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