Angela Davis’ advice on dealing with election aftermath gives us a little hope

When brilliant warrior women like Angela Davis speak, you listen. Davis’ advice on what to do post-election is both practical and reassuring. Davis visited the University of Chicago on Wednesday to give a lecture on a variety of timely topics, and while she didn’t quite say “everything will be alright,” I suddenly feel like it will. At least for now.

About 1,600 filled the University of Chicago’s Rockefeller Chapel, according to The Chicago Reader. The election seemed to be the focal point of the lecture. Let’s face it, all of us who didn’t vote for Trump are wondering how to cope, strategize, and survive for the next four years. Davis, 72, knows a thing or two about living through a president whose policies are harmful. Davis was jailed then acquitted on charges of being an accomplice to the murder of a California judge. She was also placed on the FBI’s most wanted list in 1970. Her affiliation with the Black Panther Party and radical activism made her a government target for years. Any advice she gives on what to do now is worthy of our attention.

“How do we begin to recover from this shock? By experiencing and building and rebuilding and consolidating community. Community is the answer,” she said. In the wake of the election, she understood the need to “struggle over the coming period as we have never struggled before,” but she reminded attendees that Hillary Clinton won the popular vote so more people voted against him than for him. She urged us to be vigilant about “representations of divisions in this country.”

Don’t you feel better already? Told you she would help usher you back to the light.

It wouldn’t be an Angela Davis lecture if she didn’t acknowledge America’s underestimation of xenophobia, heteropatriarchy, anti-Semitism, and racism that this election amplified. “This is a time to reflect on the extent to which we are living with the relics and ghosts of slavery.” I’m glad she said it because I’m ready for my reparations. Black people are owed!

Davis also took the failures of Clinton’s campaign to task. She criticized Clinton for “outmoded notion of feminism that revolved around white, middle-class, and bourgeois women.” ANGELA DAVIS FOR PRESIDENT. Don’t worry, #ImWithHer stands. She had enough critiques to go around for Bernie, too.

At the end of her lecture, she was asked if she had any advice for what to do during a Trump presidency. “Whatever we are already doing, we need to do more,” she said. “We need to accelerate our activism.” And to the young people out there, Davis believes in you. We all do, really. Because we know you will be the ones to save the world. “Even though I’ve been around for a very long time, I don’t see myself as having all the answers … The young people need to show the rest of us the way,” she said.

Davis also talked about the importance of Black Lives Matter and the need to abolish prisons, which she’s advocated for decades. Davis would’ve made a wonderful president. But since we’re stuck with a man who shouldn’t even be mentioned in the same sentence as her, at least we have her words to live by.