BLACK VOICES

Nina Turner's Soul-Stirring Speech Will Gear You Up For The Challenges Ahead

Thought all hope was lost? Nah.

Former Ohio State Senator Nina Turner delivered a moving speech on Saturday that reminded us we’re more than capable of overcoming the impending shift in the nation’s socio-political climate. 

In just a matter of five minutes, the former senator ― who spoke on behalf of Bernie Sanders at the National Civil Rights March in Washington D.C. last weekend ― delivered some much-needed inspiration to attendees of the National Action Network’s daylong rally. Invoking the resilient spirit of Martin Luther King Jr., Turner, who frequently delivers soul-stirring commentary, said there is strength in solidarity and that history is a testament to our ability to overcome. 

Here are some of the most compelling moments from Turner’s call to action:

1. Her call to unity.

Whether black, latinx or asian, if anything is central to overcoming the present circumstances, it’s solidarity, Turner said.

Turner quoted Dr. King to emphasize the importance of embracing other races, sexual orientations, etc., saying “we may not have gotten here in the same ship, but we are in the same boat right now.” 

2. Her reminder that “we’ve been here before.”

Oppression and injustice are nothing new to people of color.  We’ve made strides to overcome them before and we can do it again, which Turner references by saying “the mountain might be higher, but we’ve been here before.”

She also threw in a declaration of black women’s collective frustrations with the gender wage gap by saying “sisters, we want our whole damn dollar.” 

3. Her powerful reference to her southern grandma. 

The goosebumps arose when Turner cited her southern grandma: “When I asked my grandma what does it take to be successful in life, she said all you need are the three bones: the wishbone, the jawbone and the backbone.” 

Turner even referred to the backbone as the most powerful bone because it’ll prevent us from succumbing through tough times (and you know its the truth if its coming from a southern grandma). 

4. Her encouragement to keep fighting. 

With life, comes challenges and with challenges, comes strength. Turner acknowledged that the obstacles we face may be challenging but will inevitably bring out our fortitude. 

“We can’t have testimony without a test,” she proclaimed, “ and we are being tested right now for whether or not we’ve got courage enough, hope enough, fight enough and love enough to do what is necessary.” 

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