Civil Rights

Some have said that the Black Lives Matter Movement, and the recent outspoken protest against injustice has been called the rebirth of the Civil Rights Movement or the 21th Century Civil Rights Movement. There are many new activists, who are using social media to spread their message. There is a new age of brave protesters stomping the pavement trying to make a radical change in America. However, some may say the recent movement is nothing like the CRM. They say BLM is too radical and “inherently racist.” Some even dubbing it a “moment.” They say the BLM movement lacks the leadership like MLK and Malcolm X.  To me, it’s just different actors on the same stage. A different army fighting on the same battleground. – JA


Emory Douglas’s 1976 poster from the Black Panther, remixed for Black Lives Matter


People often cite BLM or other movements as a “disruption”. Does America need a disruption, or disruptions? If so, what events or processes need to be disrupted? Calling into question civil rights in our past and present American society, it is important to explore the idea of protest as not just an interruption, but a disruption. Use the website below to research ‘disruptive’ leaders.


The Disruptors

In light of the meaning of the verb disrupt, or the noun disruption, look at one of the other “disruptors” in the CNN feature. Do you define them as disruptors? If not, what would you use to name them?

Disrupt  (verb)

-interrupt (an event, activity, or process) by causing a disturbance or problem

-drastically alter or destroy the structure of (something).

Disruption (noun)

-disturbance or problems that interrupt an event, activity, or process.



TIME Magazine (Photo by Devin Allen) Baltimore Uprising, 2015

Q. What has and hasn’t changed?


1965 Protest in Memphis



2016 Memphis Protest


Civil Rights protest. Memphis, Tennessee – March 29, 1968




Contrasting images of Memphis Bridge Protests 1960s/2016



Jackson Sun    July 10, 2016

Chanel Trice holds a sign while standing on the cement between the Eastbound and Westbound lanes of Interstate 40 bridge over the Mississippi River (Photo Brad Vest/The Commercial Appeal)

Memphis protest blocks bridge traffic

Q. Is BLM a civil rights movement? How does it compare / contrast with 1960s CVM?

What does Coates say about “black lives”  and BLM movement — and pushing back on the system?


#BLM: Birth of a New Civil Rights Movement


Black and White Americans Still Worlds Apart —- Obama and BLM


Similarities between BLM & CRM


It Is Not 1968


Don’t Criticize BLM for Provoking Violence the Civil Rights Movement Did, Too

Q. How is protest a magnifying glass? (Perhaps contrast with the Dyson article about White Priv as binoculars) — just how “close” do people get to problems/issues of others?


Michael E. Dyson_Death in Black and White


67 Civil Rights Movement Heavyweights Back Black Lives Matter


The Next Civil Rights Movement


I Was a Civil Rights Activist but It Is Hard For Me To Get Behind BLM

A man makes a heart shape with his hands during a peaceful protest near the CVS pharmacy that was set on fire on Monday in Baltimore.Andrew Burton/Getty Images


Bettmann/CORBIS ORIGINAL CUTLINE   November 15, 1960 William Franz Elementary School, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA

Students at William Franz Elem School yell at police officers during a protest against desegregation of at the school.




Q. What are the various roles that white Americans have played and do play within protests? What does that role look like today in terms of BLM protests? (See more under “Whiteness” discussion)