Because I remember learning about Freedom Riders being killed, endless lynchings, dogs and hoses being set on children, and four little girls who died in a church bombing.
Oh, but I guess all that matters when you’re trying to use MLK to silence people talking about resistance now is to talk about this idealized image of how shit got done in the past.
The Civil Rights Movement wasn’t peaceful. It wasn’t nonviolent. Not for the people trying to fight for a right to be recognized as humans worthy of empathy and freedom.
The people fighting for their rights were subject to violence all the time and threatened.
When you talk about how peaceful that movement was as a way to silence or shame people now for anger at current injustice, you’re saying that your grasp of history probably begins and ends at “I have a dream”.
Emory Douglas joined the BPP in 1967 and served as Minister of Culture, designing artwork that became potent symbols of the movement. Douglas originally helped with the layout of the Black Panthers’ newspaper, and realised that art could enhance their campaigns and reach the masses.
“To me, we have a culture that is surpassed by no other civilization, but we don’t know anything about it…My job is to somehow make [the black youth] curious enough or persuade them by hook or crook to get more aware of themselves and where they came from and what they are into and what is already there and just to bring it out. This is what compels me to compel them, and I will do it by any means necessary.” -Nina Simone, c. 1969
USA. California. San Francisco. 1969. The Panthers also ran a number of social service programs in cities across the country, including free breakfasts for students, health clinics and schools. Here, students give the black power salute at a “liberation school".
Born in Virginia in 1912, Dorothy Height was a leader in addressing the rights of both women and African Americans as the president of the National Council of Negro Women. In the 1990s, she drew young people into her cause in the war against drugs, illiteracy and unemployment. The numerous honors bestowed upon her include the Presidential Medal of Freedom (1994) and the Congressional Gold Medal (2004). She died on April 20, 2010, in Washington, D.C.