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In a fluorescent lit classroom with handmade posters covering one wall, approximately 15 high school students are chanting the words of black revolutionary Assata Shakur: “It is our duty to fight for our freedom. It is our duty to win. We must love each other and we must support each other. We have nothing to lose but our chains.” With some embarrassed giggling, they recite it once, twice, three times, led by their visiting speaker, Pamela Gomez of the Hillsborough Community Protection Coalition, an alliance of local progressive groups.

These students are some of the 40-odd members of the Blake High School chapter of the Young Democratic Socialists of America (YDSA). The Tampa high school has 1,697 students, a majority of them black or Latino, and the YDSA chapter reflects that. The chapter also has a high concentration of LGBTQ students, the club’s biggest demographic bloc.

The chapter is the brainchild of Graham Shelor, 17. Slim and sandy-haired, a contemporary dancer as well as an organizer, Shelor grew up in a “fairly liberal” household but became disillusioned with the Democratic Party during the 2016 elections. “They lied to me and the people of America that they were going to make it work,” he says. “It led to a domino effect of me seeing the flaws in the current American system.”


full: http://inthesetimes.com/article/20901/YDSA-teen-Socialism-Millennials-high-school
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