The summer of 2014 saw the beginning of a dramatic shift in public conversation around race in the United States. As the tragic deaths of Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, Rekia Boyd, and other unarmed man and women dominated the news, powerful protests forced Americans to confront the twin realities of institutionalized racism and police brutality. Protests spilled onto the highways of major cities, occupied shopping malls, and dominated digital spaces, framing dissent around a single rallying cry, originally posted as a Facebook status by 33-year-old Alicia Garza: #BlackLivesMatter.
Race in America: Then and Now dives into questions of racial justice in America today, and the continuing role of race in the United States. By the end of the month, through conversations with activists, field visits, readings and conversations, students have a profound understanding of the movement and its motivations, strategies, successes, and failures.