CHARLOTTE, N.C. Efia Nwangaza was raised to strive for change. Her parents were followers of the black empowerment leader Marcus Garvey in the 1960s, and she joined the NAACP and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee during the civil rights movement.
But even with the civil rights issues of the 1960s and 70s resolved for many people, Nwangaza's fight for equality isn't over – just shifted to different battlegrounds.
“Women have suffered tremendously under the loss of jobs from the recession, and black women have suffered most egregiously,” she said. “We have the issue of foreclosures, especially as it affects black women.” She's also opposed to voucher programs for private schools and charter schools, which she said are part of the dismantling of public education.
In addition to economic issues, Nwangaza said she's protesting the overuse of police power, especially against minorities.8
“Stop-and-frisk is not limited to New York,” she said, referring to a controversial New York Police Department tactic of searching pedestrians in many neighborhoods for contraband. “It is a national campaign to humiliate, repress and degrade the civil and human rights of young people, especially young black males. We'll be bringing that issue to Charlotte.” Ely Portillo