Black Lives Matter
The Black Panther Party was founded fifty years ago. It did much to raise consciousness and pride among African-Americans. It was seen as a threat by the establishment and was thus targeted by Hoover’s FBI in a campaign of infiltration, destabilization and assassination. Today a new generation of activists has arisen in the aftermath of a series of outrageous killings of African-Americans by police. The Black Lives Matter movement has reawakened attention to the historical and contemporary ravages of racism and the persistence of structural inequality such as mass incarceration and unemployment. Who can forget Eric Garner’s plea of “I can’t breathe” before he was choked to death on a Staten Island street? It symbolizes the plight of many blacks trying to survive in crushing poverty. The Black Lives Matter movement holds the potential to reignite a broader push for black liberation.
This event was presented by the Lannan Foundation.
Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor is Assistant Professor in the Department of African American Studies at Princeton. Her articles appear in CounterPunch, In These Times, Black Agenda Report, Jacobin and The Guardian. She is the author of From #Black Lives Matter to Black Liberation, winner of the Lannan Cultural Freedom Award for an Especially Notable Book. She was named one of the 100 most influential African Americans by The Root.