Dr. Melina Abdullah (File photo)

On behalf of Bakewell Media and the L.A. Sentinel, six incredible women will be honored at the “Power, Leadership and Influence of the Black Woman” event on Saturday, April 13, at the Fairmont Century Plaza.   

 One of the inspiring honorees is Dr. Melina Abdullah, the co-founder of the Los Angeles Chapter of Black Lives Matter, a mother of three, a professor of Pan-African Studies at California State University Los Angeles, and an expert on race, gender, class and social movements, among many other titles.  

  “It’s an affirmation of all the work that I’ve done over the years. It’s a great honor. Of course, the Sentinel is the paper of record for the Black community especially. It’s a tremendous privilege to be included and of course, the work of the Bakewells, especially Danny Bakewell, has been something that is really influential in many of our work,” Abdullah said about what it means to her to be an honoree.  

 When it comes to her influences of courage and activism, Abdullah joked she comes from a long line of “loudmouth Black women.” She noted that she was not exactly sure where it began but that it had to originate from birth.  

Dr. Abdullah speaks at a rally outside L.A. City Hall in 2020. (File photo)

 “I was nurtured into always speaking up, never letting things that are good for the Black community not be advocated for. So, always advocating for what’s best for our community—never letting injustice just stand. I would say, of course, my mother has been really influential,” Abdullah said. 

 In July of last year, Black Lives Matter turned 10 years old. This hashtag-turned-movement was founded in 2013, sparked by the “acquittal of Trayvon Martin’s murderer,” according to the Black Lives Matter website. 

 As a Black Lives Matter organizer, Abdullah said that one of the most significant impacts of Black Lives Matter is helping to remind the Black community of their own power and ushering in unapologetic Blackness. 


Dr. Melina Abdullah with Chuck D, Dr. Cornel West, and Tavis Smiley at the People’s Justice Festival. (Melina Abdullah/Black Lives Matter)

“Making sure that we move as a collective rather than be lured into this notion, that there is somehow benefit to an individual so-called success. In the words of people before us, Nana Harriet Tubman, Frederick Douglass, and others have said some version of nobody’s free until everybody’s free,” Abdullah said. 

 While Abdullah said she is very grateful to receive this honor under her name, she also knows that this is “collective work,” not only because of her. 

 “I’m grateful to be a part of an organizing community that has committed to do work that is beneficial to my children and future generations,” Abdullah said. 


For more information on Abdullah and Black Lives Matter, visit https://www.docmellymel.com/  or https://blmgrassroots.org/.