Before we get into Leslie Smith ’s fighting career and organizing efforts and all the ways that the latter threatens to undo the former, there’s a story from her childhood that might help explain how she got here. See, when she was in the first grade, her class had this ritual. First, they’d all sing “America, the Beautiful,” led by their teacher, then after that they’d launch into the Pledge of Allegiance. Smith couldn’t help but notice that the pledge usually came out pretty poorly, mostly because the kids were all out of breath from singing. Smith was raised to speak up and speak her mind, so one day she went to the teacher and told her, hey, this wasn’t the best way to do things.
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