“I’m Rested and Ready to Fight”—The Reverend Barber’s Battle Cry Is One for the Ages

There’s too much at stake to be tired, or to mourn, says Barber. “We gotta fight like hell.”

Anne Wernikoff

The Rev. William Barber II was born just two days after the historic March on Washington, and he went on to become one of the most prominent civil rights leaders in the South. Now, 50 years after Martin Luther King Jr.’s first Poor People’s Campaign, Barber is reviving the movement for 2018 and calling attention to systemic racism, poverty, and injustice. 

“This is not a commemoration,” says Barber. “This is a call to action.” 

On the Mother Jones podcast, join us for a fiery conversation with Barber, where we delve into how his movement has built a progressive coalition in the South, how to stand up against inequality and voter suppression, and why the fight isn’t just about President Donald Trump. “There comes a time when you’ve got to stop mourning and pick yourself up,” says Barber. “I’m tired of what I see happening—and I’m rested and ready to fight.” Barber spoke with senior reporter Ari Berman at a live event last week in Berkeley, California.

We also hear from folks in the audience who tell us about the messages they’re taking home with them—and what they’re inspired to do next. Many in the room were energized to take action immediately, and as one 11-year-old says: “When people ask me what am I going to do when I grow up, I say I want to be an activist. Right now, I feel like I don’t have to start when I’m older. I feel like I can start now.”  

Finally, listen to DC bureau chief David Corn decode Trump’s highly controversial meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin—and why “it was the most stunning moment in US foreign policy history that did not involve an actual war or coup or act of violence.” 

Note: The audio of the live conversation has been edited for length and clarity.

You can subscribe to the Mother Jones Podcast using any of the following services:

OUR NEW CORRUPTION PROJECT

The more we thought about how MoJo's journalism can have the most impact heading into the 2020 election, the more we realized that so many of today's stories come down to corruption: democracy and the rule of law being undermined by the wealthy and powerful for their own gain.

So we're launching a new Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption. We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We'll publish what we find as a major series in the summer of 2020, including a special issue of our magazine, a dedicated online portal, and video and podcast series so it doesn't get lost in the daily deluge of breaking news.

It's unlike anything we've done before and we've got seed funding to get started, but we're asking readers to help crowdfund this new beat with an additional $500,000 so we can go even bigger. You can read why we're taking this approach and what we want to accomplish in "Corruption Isn't Just Another Scandal. It's the Rot Beneath All of Them," and if you like how it sounds, please help fund it with a tax-deductible donation today.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate