In America on Fire: The Untold History of Police Violence and Black Rebellions since the 1960s (Liveright, 2021) Dr. Elizabeth Hinton asserts the significance of Black rebellions in post-civil rights America, arguing that the riots were indeed rebellions or political acts in response to the failures and unfulfilled promises of the Civil Rights period. She investigates an overlooked trend of Black uprisings emanating from poor and working-class Black neighborhoods, towns, and cities often sparked by police terror between 1964 and 1972. In refuting the racist pathologies that community violence in response to racist policing and economic disinvestment has been assigned by commissions, politicians, liberals and conservatives alike, Hinton presents a redefinition through the analytic of rebellion that enhances our understanding of resistance to anti-Blackness and policing today.
Amanda Joyce Hall is a Ph.D. Candidate in History and African American Studies at Yale University. She is writing an international history on the grassroots movement against South African apartheid during the 1970s and 1980s. She tweets from @amandajoycehall