Oppression is when a person or group in a position of power controls the less powerful in cruel and unfair ways. Not cool.
“Power concedes nothing without a demand. I never did and it never will.” Those words came from Frederick Douglass, a former slave who devoted his life to ending the oppression of black people at the hands of powerful white slaveowners. The Latin root means “pressed against,” and oppression feels like hands pressing your head, keeping you down. Oppression can be widespread throughout a culture, or felt by a single individual, like enduring the sun’s oppression on a hot summer day.