Why do you do this Anti-Violence work?
I stumbled into this work not because I sought to do it but instead I believe I was led to this work by forces outside of myself. A series of events completely outside of my control happened and I found myself working for a local Sexual and Domestic Violence agency. Here I found my voice, I realized for the first time that I even had a voice. I have stayed and continue to do this work because it challenges me, challenges me to think about how I view myself, how I treat others and how I would want to be treated by anyone, stranger or friend, family or neighbor. I have learned to respect differences and the value in those differences. I have learned it is okay to develop a new value and belief system other than the one I was taught as a child.
What would you like to learn your first year on your new job?
I would like to learn how to not be so nervous in speaking in front of others and to speak with confidence and knowledge.
If you were a vegetable what would you be? Why?
If I were a vegetable I would be a collard green. I would be a collard green because it is a comfort food for folks in my African American culture/heritage. I would be a reminder to everyone who partook of me of family meals and gatherings of friends and neighbors, and of holidays and laughter. I would somehow make those who partook of me happy after sad occasions such as funerals, bringing both tears of joy and pain. I would be a source of sustenance for my people and healing for the sick. My juice would be saved and given to someone who was “under the weather”. Because of how vital I am on so many levels, people would take care of me, careful to make sure there were no insects on me, no brown or yellowing leaves. I would be picked and washed carefully. Great care would go into preparing me for the feast. I would be seasoned and slow cooked to perfection. When I would finally reach the table, everyone would pass me around and partake of my seasoned bitterness and praise the one who prepared me for how I was like butter that melted in your mouth.
What are the 3 things you love about Virginia?
- I love the fact that Virginia, in terms of geography, is centrally located along the East Coast, close to metropolis areas but without all the urban chaos that goes along with big cities.
- Virginia has such interesting places to visit, hidden treasures that few even know about. I was born and raised in Virginia yet there are so many areas of the state I have never visited.
- Virginia has a bit of southern gentility I love. It is a place where strangers are more likely to speak than not. I like being able to strike up a conversation while in line at the grocery store or at the bank with a perfect stranger. I love that I don’t have to be afraid to speak to someone I pass on the sidewalk.
What would be the title of your autobiography?
The title of my autobiography would be “The Reinvention of Angela Take 5″
If you had one box for all your stuff, what would you put in it?
The first thing I would put in my box would be my pictures. My pictures are all snap shots of a point in my life of the people I have encountered along the way who helped create lasting memories both good and some not so good. They are family, some gone, some still here. They are my grandchildren, of pictures from birth to present. They are reflections of how quickly they grow and the individuals they have morphed into. They are workplace pictures of eras gone by.
Next in my box would go the small trinkets I have accumulated over the years from places I have visited or others have visited and brought me as souvenirs, reminders of the footprints of my life’s journeys. The final things to go in my box would be my son’s first pair of shoes, the tassel from his high school graduation, the robe and collar from his college graduation. These are the things that mean the most to me in life. If I had only these things, I would be content because if I had to start all over again with nothing but what I have in my box, I can recreate my life through these few things, knowing the best of who I am and all that I could ever hope to be is in that one box.
What is the most incredible view you have ever seen?
I have been a lot of places and seen a lot of things but this picture is emblazoned in my mind. It is a generational picture of my granddaughter doing the hair of my grandmother. It was the first and only time my grandmother was able to visit the home of my son before her health began to decline. What I love about this scene is the gentle care my granddaughter was giving to make “Grandma Mildred” look pretty.
Lastly, what excites you most about your new job at the Action Alliance?
There are so many things that excite me about my new job that it is hard to pick just one thing. I love the energy in the office. Yes it is an office and I know there are days when folks just are not “feeling” the love, but there is camaraderie and unity around the issues of anti-violence, equity and in particular issues that affect women. One of the things that does excite me the most is the realization that I am in an environment where I feel valued, my efforts feel appreciated and folks have so much confidence in me. It is exciting and scary at the same time because I ask myself, what if I fail, what if I make a mistake, say the wrong thing, or worse misrepresent the coalition in a damaging way. That in itself keeps me in a state of awareness about myself and the way I move about in and out of the office when I am wearing the face of our statewide coalition.
Angela Blount has been involved with anti-violence work for many years and most recently with the Action Alliance as a Governing Body member. She has recently joined the staff as the Programs and Services Assistant Manager. She continues to serve on the Governing Body of the Virginia Anti-Violence Project and gets involved in national activism such as Black Lives Matter.
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