From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation Book Summary By Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor

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"From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation" is a must-read book that brings you right up-to-date on the ongoing struggle for Black liberation in the United States.

In this book, readers will learn about the continuing fracture of racism in America and why activist organizations like Black Lives Matter are still vital forces for change.

This book offers insight into how the fight towards liberation is still far from over and what readers can do now to be part of making it a reality.

Discover real reasons why action is necessary to achieve liberation and educate yourself on how to bring about meaningful change in your community.

From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation Book

Book Name: From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation (The fight against racism in modern America)

Author(s): Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor

Rating: 3.8/5

Reading Time: 18 Minutes

Categories: Society & Culture

Author Bio

Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor is an accomplished author and assistant professor at Princeton University.

Her work focuses on Black politics, social movements and racial inequality, shedding a light on the important issues of our times.

Her writings can be found in numerous publications such as Culture and Society, New Politics, the Guardian and International Socialist Review.

She has become a renowned expert on the current Black Lives Matter movement and its implications for creating a more equitable society.

Her book From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation endeavors to push past symbolic statements about racial inequality to present real steps for creating long lasting change in policy and everyday living.

Exploring Racism, Inequality And The Politics Of Black Liberation

Black Liberation

Getting woven into the Black liberation movement starts with understanding the history, politics and racial inequality that has led us to our current society.

In Martin Luther King Jr.’s last essay, “A Testament of Hope” from 1968 he called for “a more aggressive political involvement” in order to achieve lasting true liberation.

We must learn how even today’s President Obama perpetuates the myth that Black people’s problems arise from a bad culture while unaware of or overlooking commonly encountered everyday racism such as welfare cuts and police brutality incidents.

To properly understand this fight of equality, we must recognize and remember the painful effects of slavery still lingering in society through legislation brought forth by the Black Codes of 1865 – causing criminalization within the African American community.

The power to bring an end to discrimination lies within ourselves and by getting involved in movements that aim to empower all lives regardless of color we can strive towards new paths towards justice, inclusion, acceptance and freedom.

True liberation means taking action towards political activism, awareness and standing up for what is right for our community – get woven into the Black liberation movement!

Racism Still Persists After Civil Rights: The Fight For Black Liberation Continues

It’s no secret that Black communities in the US still face immense challenges due to centuries of systemic racism.

But rather than acknowledge and address these disparities, many politicians and pundits instead point to cultural “problems” as the cause of poverty, crime, and inequality in Black communities.

For example, Republican representative Paul Ryan has argued that high unemployment rates in impoverished Black communities is caused by a “culture problem”—saying that people in these communities are unfamiliar with the value of work.

Likewise, when President Obama commented on the violence in Chicago neighborhoods he blamed bad choices made by Black youths, suggesting they needed better role models than the “gangbanger on the corner.”

Such sentiments serve only to shift responsibility for persistent social issues onto those affected by them rather than addressing and rectifying underlying injustices.

This painting of Black people as lazy criminals who can’t be trusted to make good decisions is a misrepresentation which fails to recognize history: namely that slavery was used as an economic tool to support industries such as cotton and tobacco—and standing systematic racial oppression continues to have dire implications even long after the civil rights movement of the 1960s.

Consequently, targeting individual behavior neglects both root causes of these issues and any potential long-term solutions.

It’s imperative then that we don’t allow ourselves to be misled by superficial arguments into believing that problems in Black communities are simply a matter of culture rather than systemic racism.

Recognizing this truth is central if we are ever going to achieve true equality and justice for all.

The Deceptive Mask Of The “Color-Blind” Society: How Nixon Further Shattered Black Communities With Mass Incarceration

Politicians have long spread the message of a “color-blind” society in order to push their own agenda.

This message can be dangerous as it implies that racism no longer exists and thus, any poverty or crime must be due to one’s personal choices rather than attention-requiring government policies.

The Nixon administration took this idea and ran with it, enacting an economic agenda specifically designed to keep Black communities down.

This agenda consists of reprioritizing spending; continuous cuts on welfare programs and instead increases on police forces all over the country, predominantly in places with larger Black populations.

Therefore, what is being said when politicians imply a “color-blind” society is not only false but extremely damaging for the much needed support and investments into rehabilitating poor Black communities.

In the time since these dangerous ideas have been popularized, mass incarceration has taken hold throughout America and caused irreparable damage to its minority population.

The Political System Has Failed African-Americans Despite Inroads Made In Politics

Political System

Despite the advancements of African-American politicians in US politics – such as Carl Stokes, who was elected mayor of Cleveland, Ohio in 1967 and became the first Black mayor of a major US city; or Barack Obama, who took office as the country’s first Black president in 2009 – real change has failed to take place for Black Americans.

Rather than providing a measure of stability or relief from poverty and unemployment, budget cuts by former President Reagan’s administration in the 1980s left many mayors without federal aid—regardless of race—and unable to make significant progress in improving living conditions for Black communities.

What’s worse is that any attempts to gain campaign funds from local businesses involved tax cuts that further left social service programs struggling.

Tragic cases like Freddie Gray’s serve as harsh reminders that despite political advancements being made, Black citizens still face certain oppression and have not seen much improvement when it comes to issues of poverty and unemployment, housing, and health care.

As a result, they have grown frustrated with both their own representatives as well White politicians alike.

The Legacy Of Slavery Lives On In The Us: Convict Leasing, Disproportionate Arrests And Systemic Racism Targeting Black Americans

Despite the Thirteenth Amendment to the US Constitution abolishing slavery in 1865, laws were created in Southern states to keep African-Americans in servitude.

Called Black Codes, these laws barred Blacks from certain activities or required them to be “in the regular service of a white person.”

Even when Black Codes were abolished in 1866, restrictions on African-American freedom persisted through convict leasing.

This form of prison labor allowed business owners and plantation owners to “lease” prisoners for day labor.

Dependent on this workforce for their economic survival, many depended on this source of slave labor.

It was almost exclusively Black people that faced arrest and criminalization during the early twentieth century with nearly all prisoners being Black in the South.

And even outside of the South, Blacks faced unfair policing with USA Today examining 70 police stations across the United States and finding that they are ten times more likely to be arrested than any other race.

The legal and justice systems continue to keep African-Americans criminalized today with cases like Eugene Williams’ murder served as a grim reminder of how deeply racism is embedded into these structures.

The Failure Of Political Leaders Spurs The Rise Of The #Blacklivesmatter Movement

The failure of the government and Black leadership to address the systemic violence, poverty and inequality affecting African-Americans led to a turning point in the fight for racial justice.

In 2013, Alicia Garza launched a protest movement with her Facebook post containing the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter.

This powerful message spread quickly and started an organization devoted to fighting against discrimination against Black Americans.

In response to incidents such as Trayvon Martin’s shooting in 2012, and increased unemployment among Black workers following the 2009 banking crisis, the people realized just how little their elected officials had done for them.

The historic turnout of 64 percent of eligible Black voters during Barack Obama’s election campaign was transformed into disillusionment once it became clear that his presidency wasn’t bringing about any real change.

It was evident that if there was going to be justice for Black people, then they would need to take action themselves–and so #BlackLivesMatter launched a new era of activism aimed at tackling police brutality and standing up for civil rights in America.

The Black Lives Matter Movement: Coming Together To Fight Injustice And Police Brutality

Police Brutality

The shooting of Mike Brown in Ferguson on August 9th, 2014 sparked a massive outcry for justice and respect for the lives of Black people.

This highly publicized incident exposed the inhumane treatment of young Black men when faced with police violence, as his body was left at the scene for over four hours.

The subsequent protests and riots that erupted to confront this senseless tragedy provided a powerful message that echoed across the nation.

As tensions continued to rise, people organized peaceful marches in major cities like New York and Washington DC – all united under the slogan ‘Black Lives Matter’.

Additionally, these demonstrations gained traction in college campuses around the US, inspiring other activist organizations such as Dream Defenders, BYP 100, Hands Up United, Ferguson Action, Millennials United and many more to form and align themselves with this new wave of Black liberation movement.

In short, protests and activist organizations proliferated widely following an unjust outcry caused by Mike Brown’s death in Ferguson.

With these efforts came an ambition seeking long-term solutions through collective action – working together to build a better future that is free from state-sanctioned racial injustice.

How Capitalism, Racism And White Supremacy Are Inextricably Intertwined

We must recognize the inextricable link between racism and capitalism and join together the working classes of all races to bring about real, positive change.

To do this, it’s important to understand how racism works in favor of capitalist ideologies.

Karl Marx understood this connection well, as he himself saw how rulers could use hateful rhetoric to divide the white and black members of the poor.

This divide-and-conquer tactic has been deployed since slavery was abolished in an attempt to unite wealthy industry leaders with the lower classes – who were united only by their shared skin color.

A prime example of this is that “white supremacy” was invented specifically to protect the perceived power of whites over blacks; even as many of both groups were living together in poverty, a common enemy was created from thin air with which they could align — all for the benefit of those in power.

It’s essential that we acknowledge and act against these tactics if we are going to succeed in securing lasting human rights for everyone.

That means bringing Black and white members of the working class together, no matter their level wealth or profession, linking arms against injustice instead of fighting for scraps thrown from above.

Together we stand a much better chance at implementing true change than apart.*

Wrap Up

The final summary of “From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation” is that racism continues to be entrenched in America.

This is evident in the deaths of Black people as a result of police brutality, and the neglect of Black communities by the US political system.

In order for there to be real change, a new Black liberation movement must come together and unite both Black and white members of the working class.

Through collaboration and collective action, this new movement has the potential to make a lasting impact on the lives of those suffering from racial injustice.

Arturo Miller

Hi, I am Arturo Miller, the Chief Editor of this blog. I'm a passionate reader, learner and blogger. Motivated by the desire to help others reach their fullest potential, I draw from my own experiences and insights to curate blogs.

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