“As a black woman, my politics and political affiliation are bound up with and flow from participation in my people’s struggle for liberation.” -- Angela Davis
Reminiscent of Davis herself, Teressa Raiford is a woman whose politics work is both widely respected and largely controversial, considering her most recent arrests. Yet that is not her concern.
Stretching back four generations, Raiford’s great grandmother settled in Oregon during the late-1800s marking the history of the Raiford Oregonians.
The next event in this timeline was the position of Teressa's grandfather, as one of the first African-American police officers for the Portland Police Bureau. During his stint as officer, Raiford’s grandfather experienced hazing and blatant hate crimes, that plague her memory to this very day.
Lastly, the most unfortunate and life altering events of Raiford’s life, was the shooting of her young and ambitious nephew. That fateful day was her Joan of Arc’s visiting angel, her moment of clarity. She was ready to do what needed to be done. Launching her into the activist, politician, organizer, agent of change that we have come to know, her nephew’s pain was her moment of enlightenment.
From meeting with First Lady Michelle Obama to organizing protests to being arrested for her work, Teressa Raiford is like no other.
No one’s words could describe her-- but those of her own.