Françoise N. Hamlin and Charles W. McKinney, "From Rights to Lives: The Evolution of the Black Freedom Struggle" (Vanderbilt UP, 2024)


Broadly speaking, the traditionally conceptualized mid-twentieth-century Civil Rights Movement and the newer #BlackLivesMatter Movement possess some similar qualities. They both represent dynamic, complex moments of possibility and progress. They also share mass-based movement activities, policy/legislative advocacy, grassroots organizing, and targeted media campaigns. Innovation, growth, and dissension—core aspects of movement work—mark them both. Crucially, these moments also engender aggressive, repressive, multilevel responses to these assertions of Black humanity.

From Rights to Lives: The Evolution of the Black Freedom Struggle (Vanderbilt UP, 2024) critically engages the dynamic relationship between these two moments of liberatory possibility on the Black Freedom Struggle timeline. The book’s contributors explore what we can learn when we place these moments of struggle in dialogue with each other. They grapple with how our understanding of the postwar moment shapes our analysis of #BLM and wherein lie the discontinuities, in order to glean lessons for future moments of insurgency.

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Mickell Carter

Mickell Carter is a doctoral student in the department of Africana Studies at Brown University. She can be reached at and on Twitter @MickellCarter
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