Monday, August 3, 2015

#BlackLivesMatter: the birth of a new civil rights movement

 Photograph: Kristin Little Photography
"Black America is in a state of protest. The 21st-century civil rights movement, exemplified by the action taken by Garza and those like her, is democratic in its aims and agile in its responses. It is fuelled by grief and fury, by righteous rage against injustice and institutionalised racism and by frustration at the endemic brutality of the state against those it deems unworthy. In almost every area of society, black Americans remain disadvantaged. Education? Forty-two percent of black children are educated in high-poverty schools. Employment? The unemployment rate for black high-school dropouts is 47% (for white high-school dropouts it is 26%). Housing? Although black people make up just 13.2% of the US population, they account for 37% of the homeless. Voters’ rights? One in every 13 African Americans of voting age is disenfranchised because of a felony conviction – a rate more than four times greater than the rest of the US population. In fact, African Americans now constitute nearly 1 million of the total 2.3 million jail population and are incarcerated nearly six times as often as white people."

Elizabeth Day



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