I study a speech that Julian Bond gave at Bowling Green, in 1968:
“What will be needed, in addition to an experienced and agitating group of young activists, will be more than just the confluence of people of mutual interest and mutual concern coming together. What will be needed is what the great black man, Frederick Douglass, called for in another speech about 116 years ago. “It is not the light that is needed,” Douglass said. “but fire. It is not the gentle shower, but thunder. We need the storm, the whirlwind, the earthquake. The feeling of the nation must be quickened, the conscience of the nation must be startled, the hypocrisy of the nation must be exposed, its crimes against God and man must be denounced.”
If Bond wasn’t prophesying the Black Lives Matter movement, he came close. They are a group of agitating young activists, gaining experience by the moment. They have improved upon the mistakes of their predecessors, something Reynolds acknowledges by noting how BLM is offering more space for women and members of the LGBTQ spectrum. Continue reading
When George Zimmerman was acquitted of murder charges after killing Trayvon Martin, Alicia Garza of Oakland, California, turned to Facebook to express her anger and sadness. As a longtime social activist, Garza, who is now 34 years old, had been working for years to end systemic racism.
One reason the reach of #BlackLivesMatter has spread so far is that it’s more inclusive than traditional civil rights movements. “Our diversity in leadership is an important component,” says Garza. “We have diverged from a model that is about following one charismatic leader, usually a man who is straight.”