Meet Anti-Racism Activist Felicia Myers Scarpati-(Lomax)

And learn how she's serving as a griot and protesting with her pen

Hello friends,

Some weeks ago, Felicia popped into my LinkedIn inbox to share some of her past activism work. I knew then that she’d be a great addition to the interviews published here. Please meet Felicia…

Felicia, what made you become an anti-racism activist and writer?

In 1989, what would become known as the Central Park Five was all over the news in New York City. Five Black and Brown teenage boys were accused of rape. I was 18 and deeply rooted in the culture of the city. When these brothers said they were “wildin' out” in the park (robbing people or being loud and obnoxious in public spaces), that made sense, and I believe that may have happened, but rape?!? No, it didn't make sense. These teenaged boys were referred to as a “wolfpack,” (referring to them as animals on the front page of the Daily News) and Donald Trump called for the death penalty to be reinstated. That was the first time I protested against racism.

New York had become a hotbed for Southern-style lynchings without the noose. I couldn't watch from the sidelines. The thing that struck me the most during the Central Park trial was that Black women were protesting under the guise of feminism. I kept thinking, this could be your son being railroaded by the system. I will never wear the label “feminist” because of this. Alice Walker coined the phrase “womanist” in her short story “Coming Apart” in 1979 and again in “In Search of Our Mother's Garden: Womanist Prose” which aligns better with who I am as an activist. Nothing I do while amplifying my voice as a woman will ever negate the needs of my brothers to rise above systematic racism simultaneously.

What anti-racist cause are you most passionate about, and why?

Anything and everything that directly affects the Black community. However, economics, African spirituality, and the lies told in history are what I write about most.

What form does your activism take?

I am a writer, storyteller, and griot, if you will. I can be found on Substack where I will be adding more content as the stories hit me.

When I published the Manifesting with Your Ancestors Journal on Amazon, I wanted to guide Black people back to the understanding of our power. We had traditional spiritual practices before chattel slavery and the colonization of Africa. What has been deemed evil by those who worship according to the Abrahamic books needs to be revisited and understood why this was done. In removing our spiritual practices and essentially our identity, it was easier to break the Africans and enslave them while occupying their land by creating a God that didn't look like the African. Thus instilling an inferiority complex that has lasted for over four hundred years. Black people are still using the terms voodoo and hoodoo like it's evil because we have been indoctrinated to believe so.

What response have you had to your activism or writing?

In 2017, Memphis, TN set up illegal surveillance of 84 protestors that would inevitably be tried in federal court. A ‘Blacklist’ was created by city hall and leaked to the media. The list consisted of Black Lives Matter organizers and protesters after 19-year-old Darrius Stewart was killed by a police officer after being put in the back of a police car, driven behind a church, and then murdered in a scuffle after being removed from the vehicle instead of delivering him to the police station. My name is third on the list, with my husband following mine. The case was prosecuted by Bruce Kramer, who litigated on behalf of the American Civil Liberties Union that said the Blacklist violated the consent decree which banned political surveillance following revelations that the police department spied on civil rights activists, war protesters, and radicals in 1978.

Here are the links to the Midsouth Peace & Justice Center's article on the Memphis Blacklist and a link to the ACLU’s timeline of what led to the ACLU-TN securing the consent decree banning all future political spying in 1978.

This was not my first protest, but it's where my name was splashed all over every major media outlet around the country. It was unsettling at first. I was fearful that I may have put my Black sons in jeopardy.

I also knew my activism could affect my small business (I own a nail salon that employs five Black women), which white women equally patronized as much as Black women. However, my activism has been unmoved. I protest with my pen now. Less than a year ago, I joined LinkedIn to expand my reach and reactivate my voice via my writing. It has been well-received by the people doing anti-racism work – globally.

In terms of anti-racism content, which are your top three articles or social media posts?

  1. I am a Biracial Black Woman was written to give a voice to my identity and why I identify as Black, with clarification.

  2. Justice Unserved - When Carolyn Donham died, I had to stop my mind from thinking, ‘it's about time’, in the crass way it was showing up. I knew I had to lend my voice to the conversation because, as a mother of Black men, I spend a lot of time reminding my ancestors to walk with them because America hasn't changed much since they left this incarnation.

  3. Free to be Black in America - This article may appear contrary to our strides as Black people. The reality is, I want us to stop celebrating what little white people agree to in terms of our existence in this country as equal counterparts to them. The Crown Act was passed in Texas in May of 2023. Darryl George, an 18-year-old high school student, has been repeatedly suspended because he refuses to cut his neatly coiffed dreadlocks. Wasn't the Crown Act supposed to cover this? While that is not addressed in this article, it speaks to the reason I wrote it prior to George being suspended. We celebrate a law passed to protect our authenticity, only for that law to be violated when we show up as our authentic selves.

Share one anti-racism article written by someone else that really made an impact on you.

It’s time for Black people to stop handing out Black cards to non-Black people and people who make it a point not to identify as Black, even though they share African ancestry due to chattel slavery.

Black Women, Racial Ambiguity, & Unblurring The Color Lines is a necessary read by Quintessa L. Williams as she addresses the ambiguous woman who meshes in with Black women –until she shows her true colors (pun intended).

In relation to racism, what is your vision for the future?

My vision has always focused on the Black community building for and with each other. While allies are helpful and in some cases, necessary, I want Black people to focus on creating our independence from systematic racism by focusing on our collective economics, continuing the fight to accurately teach American history, while we dig into our spirituality and heal from centuries of trauma.

Activism takes many forms, and I’m totally inspired by Felicia’s commitment to activism, despite any personal danger she might have faced. What stood out to you in this interview?

Please check out Felicia’s newsletter, linked above, and connect with her on LinkedIn and Instagram.

Thanks for reading,


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I am an anti-racism educator and activist, Co-Founder of Mission Equality, the author of “I’m Tired of Racism”, and co-host of The Introvert Sisters podcast.

© Sharon Hurley Hall, 2024. All Rights Reserved.

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