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 writes and speaks on Black politics, social movements, and racial inequality. She is a professor of African American Studies at Princeton. Her articles appear in The New Yorker, The Nation, The Guardian and Jacobin. She is the author of Race for Profit, How We Get Free and the award-winning From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation.