FEATURE: Meet the Women Who Have Made #BlackLivesMatter the Most Crucial Political Movement Today

GOOD BLACK NEWS

Shamell Bell, left, Melina Abdullah and Povi-Tamu Bryant are key leaders of "leaderless" Black Lives Matter. Shamell Bell, left, Melina Abdullah and Povi-Tamu Bryant are key leaders of “leaderless” Black Lives Matter. (Photo by Shane Lopes)

There was a time when Melina Abdullah wanted to be the next Maxine Waters.

A year or two ago, I recognized that those middle-class aspirations are done,” Abdullah says now, in the soothing voice of a therapist or guidance counselor. “You can’t go in and yell at people or camp in front of the mayor’s house and go, ‘Now I’m running for office.’ I had to make peace with that.”

Abdullah lives in a three-bedroom house in the Crenshaw district of Los Angeles with her three children. She drives a Volvo. She’s a tenured professor and chairs the Pan-African Studies department at Cal State Los Angeles. She’s a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha, the first black sorority. She was appointed by Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas to the county’s…

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