From the Civil Rights Movement to Black Lives Matter

The river was the metaphor that best captured “the long, continuous movement” of the black freedom struggle for theologian, historian and civil rights activist Vincent Harding. Harding wrote in his groundbreaking 1981 study of African-American history, “There is a River: The Black Struggle for Freedom in America” that the freedom struggle was “sometimes powerful, tumultuous, roiling with life; at other times meandering and turgid.” It is Harding’s metaphor of the river that best captures the process that led to the 2020 Black Lives Matter uprising.

Lecture Description

This lecture examines the continuities between the civil rights, Black Power and Black Lives Matter movements while seeking to account for the relative quiescence of civil rights activism in the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s. Particular attention is paid to the lessons drawn by 21st century activists from the successes and failures from earlier movements.


African American Civil Rights

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Matthew J. Countryman

VIEW SPEAKER : Matthew J. Countryman

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