Black Lives Matter

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With Love and Respect: #ScholarsRespond to A Vision for Black Lives

By Keisha N. Blain and Ibram X. Kendi | African American Intellectual History Society

Praxis Center is pleased to collaborate with the African American Intellectual History Society to present featured blog posts from their “#ScholarsRespond to a Vision for Black Lives” online forum. Organized by AAIHS Editors Keisha N. Blain and Ibram Kendi, other participating scholars include Gerald Horne, Duchess Harris, Peniel Joseph, Clarence Lang, Trimiko Melancon, Megan Ming Francis, Hasan Jeffries, and Matthew Delmont. These leading national scholars offer their compelling insights in response to the Movement for Black Lives’ (M4BL) vision statement  released on August 1, 2016. Together, these essays provide a platform for serious engagement with the six policy demands presented in M4BL’s vision statement: 1) end the war on black people; 2) reparations; 3) invest-divest; 4)economic justice; 5) community control; and 6) political power

Policy and Possibility in the Movement for Black Lives Platform

By Matt Delmont | African American Intellectual History Society

Praxis Center is pleased to collaborate with the African American Intellectual History Society to present featured blog posts from their “#ScholarsRespond to a Vision for Black Lives” online forum. Organized by AAIHS Editors Keisha N. Blain and Ibram Kendi, other participating scholars include Gerald Horne, Duchess Harris, Peniel Joseph, Clarence Lang, Trimiko Melancon, Megan Ming Francis, Hasan Jeffries, and Matthew Delmont. These leading national scholars offer their compelling insights in response to the Movement for Black Lives’ (M4BL) vision statement  released on August 1, 2016. Together, these essays provide a platform for serious engagement with the six policy demands presented in M4BL’s vision statement: 1) end the war on black people; 2) reparations; 3) invest-divest; 4)economic justice; 5) community control; and 6) political power

In Honor of Our Dead: Queer, Trans, Muslim, Black — We Will Be Free

Repost from Black Lives Matter

It is with pain and heartache that the Black Lives Matter Network extends love, light, protection, and abundance to our family in Orlando, Florida. We love you. Black people are a diverse community, and though the hate-filled rhetoric of the conservative right is currently trying to pit us against our kin — we will always stand with all the parts of ourselves. Today, Queer, Latinx, and Muslim family, we lift you up.

Youth Resistance Unleashed: Black Lives Matter

By Bernardine Dohrn

“Those who kill their own children and discriminate daily against them because of the color of their skin; those who let the murderers of blacks remain free, protecting them, and furthermore punishing the black population because they demand their legitimate rights as free men—how can those who do this consider themselves guardians of freedom?”

Che Guevara
Before the United Nations
12-11-1964

In my lifetime young people rose up to challenge and change the world in Little Rock and Birmingham, in Soweto and Tiananmen, in Palestine and Chiapas. In the last decade we saw the rise of Arab Spring and Occupy, and now we are in the midst of vivid mass resistance to the police killing of unarmed Black men and women spurred by the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. Now and historically, it is the youth who reject taken-for-granted injustices.[1] In this moment, young people are the social actors – the leadership, catalysts,  the activists, and the organizers – who seized and defined a continuing travesty of North American life: the police murder of Black lives. Rising up against the thickening layers of institutionalized white supremacy, young people are insisting that Black Lives Matter.

Why Selma Matters: A Mother’s Perspective

By Stephanie Shonekan, Art, Music, and Pop Culture

On MLK day, I took our three teenage children to watch Selma. I worried about the film’s effect on them because I knew it would provide another heavy layer of heart-wrenching historical information for them to carry, which makes their walk more labored than their non-black counterparts in the USA. I hoped that the experience would be beneficial, if for no other reason, to flesh out their historical knowledge, and to show them the rare occurrence of a major feature film directed by a black woman. But most of all, I hoped it would raise their awareness and enhance their sense of identity. This was a risky endeavor because most of their friends spent the holiday watching popular action and horror films. But it was important to me that my children spend the time on this particular film at this particular time.

The tragic murders of Mike Brown, Eric Garner, and Tamir Rice set the stage for my three children to experience Selma. Within the last year, our family discussions about race in America have been more urgent because of the tangible visual evidence, thanks to smart phone cameras and footage, that racial history continues to evolve and that it impacts us in a real way right now. Our frequent conversations about race are complicated because our children’s understandings of blackness are shaped by the different constructions of blackness within their family.

Police Violence and Youth Resistance: “Mike Brown Means We Got to Fight Back!”

By Dara Cooper, Contributing Editor, Environment, Food, & Sustainability

As a food and environmental justice activist, like many of my comrades, I embrace a global, macro analysis and vision for why we’re fighting. Rooted in the realities of injustice, particularly among communities of color, we understand the quality of our food, air, schools, water, and our overall lives intersect. We understand that white supremacy and capitalism feed on the destruction of our lives and much of our work is centered on creating an alternative future where our children’s children can thrive. We envision collectives, earth justice, sustainable agriculture, sustainable homes, honoring of indigenous values, healthy bodies, healthy relationships, self-determination, pride, educated minds, and so much more. Yet, in the here and now, we see police brutality. We see destruction. We see exploitation. So we work hard, dream, build for a better future, and in the meantime, we fight back.

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It is our duty to fight for freedom.
It is our duty to win.
We must love and support each other.
We have nothing to lose but our chains.
– Assata Shakur

 

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