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From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation

By Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor

From BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation takes the reader through American history, focusing on how economic privatization and social inequality disproportionately impacts people of color, and how socialism has always been views strongly held by revolutionary people of color, such as the Black Panthers. Though Taylor addresses this socialism in a fully intersectional way, she explains that much of socialism today consists of white men who adhere class reductionism (similar to recent political candidate Bernie Sanders who becomes uncomfortable with discussions of race and gender, and tries to center every conversation back to economics.) Taylor posits that socialism should exist with a focus on economics and identity politics.

Taylor speaks about respectability politics, and the problematic and pervasive idea that “children raised in concentrated poverty need to be taught middle class norms.” In regards to rise of black politicians and the CBC in support of Clinton and detrimental crime bill in the 90s:

“The point here is not to simply assign blame to black elected officials for the catastrophe conditions in black communities, but to note that these examples are the fruition of a strategy that centered electoral politics as the realistic alternative to the grassroots freedom struggle. As money and power exerted greater influence on the outcome of elections, the capacity to raise funds and attract lucrative suiters distorted the political objectives of infusing soul into the political process.”

Taylor writes that Occupy Wallstreet provided the framework and needed energy in protest of Trayvon Martin’s murder in 2012- which later built into the Movement for Black Lives. The murder of Trayon Martin and others shed light on the fact that Obama would not be the savior to Black people in America. According to Taylor, the Movement for Black Lives has the potential to redefine this debate in a way that has not been done before on the national stage.

“Justice is not a natural part of the lifecycle of the United States, nor is it a product of evolution; it is always the outcome of struggle.”

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© Copyright 2018 Annie Windholz

midwestern librarian, writer, activist. subscribe — http://eepurl.com/cZoiG9

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