• Black Fam

Episode 5: The Power of Black Women

Updated: Dec 22, 2020

Because of the perpetual invisibility of women of color, episode 5 of Black Fam 2.5 focuses on placing the struggles of Black women –– cis and trans –– at the forefront of our conversation.

Artist Harmonia Rosales beautifully reimagines "The Birth of Oshun" // Instagram: honeiee

Featured on Episode 5 of Black Fam...

Left to right: Tatiahna and Zoe-Raven of OC Protests

Instagram: ocprotests // Website:

Tatiahna is a student majoring in ethnic studies with a concentration in African American studies, in order to pursue a career as a civil rights attorney. Through her experience in speech and debate, and local activism she has gained a passion for equal justice and societal unity. Having grown up in Orange County as a mixed race woman, both her own personal experiences, as well as the experiences of others have  only strengthened her fight for equality. This has led to her take initiative and further organize within her local communities. She looks forward to continue to promote unity and provide education within these communities, in hopes to further support the black community among other communities of color.

Zoe-Raven has participated in empowering a diverse group of students by coaching speech and debate at her local community college and educating children with developmental disabilities for years. Community activism is incredibly important to her, not only as a queer black woman but as a member of a community that she sees begging for change. She hopes to continue her part in organizing the people who make up her hometown in forcing the hands of not only Orange County and California officials but the entire country to support and protect black and brown bodies. Seeing the community come together for change has been one of the most beautiful things she has ever witnessed and she is so incredibly proud of how OC has come together.

Gaye Theresa Johnson is Associate Professor of African American Studies and Chicana and Chicano Studies at the University of California at Los Angeles. She has served as the chair of the Faculty Advisory Committee for the Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies and is currently Vice-Chair of the Department of African American Studies at UCLA.

Professor Johnson writes and teaches on race, cultural politics, freedom struggles, and political economy. Her first book, titled Spaces of Conflict, Sounds of Solidarity: Music, Race, and Spatial Entitlement, is a history of social and spatial struggles in Los Angeles’ Black and Brown communities and is published by the University of California Press. Johnson’s second book, Futures of Black Radicalism, was co-edited with Alex Lubin and published with Verso Press in 2017. She is currently at work on two book projects. The first is titled Rings of Dissent: Boxing and the Performance of Rebellion, co-edited with sports scholars David J. Leonard and Rudy Mondragón and will be published with the University of North Carolina Press in 2021.  She is also writing These Walls Will Fall: Redefining Freedom in the 21st Century, which connects studies and practices of transnational migration and economies, prisoners’ rights, environmental justice, and art.

Johnson uses social justice research, teaching, and consulting to bridge the academy and her constitutive communities. She has consulted with several schools and districts in California to write Ethnic Studies curriculum, and has helped several private companies and schools to think productively about creating work environments that elevate communities and social justice issues. In 2020, Johnson was one of five UCLA faculty to receive the Chancellor’s Award for Community Engaged Scholars.  She is President of the Board of the Central Coast Alliance United for a Sustainable Economy (CAUSE), and an advisory board member for the Goldin Institute and the Rosenberg Fund for Children.

Her proudest achievement is being a mother to her 9-year old daughter and being a part of the circle of friends and family that constitute the core of her life.

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