The movements that have arisen recently to challenge racism and violence in our justice system have created not only discussion and outrage, but a cultural shift. Out of racism and violence and sexism has come creativity: songs, chants, art, policy ideas, creative ways to push back against power and reimagine the way our world can be. On today’s show, we’re looking at the culture that has grown from recent protests—in Portland, in New York, in St. Louis, San Francisco, and Cleveland—from art made on the streets to songs that wind up at the Academy Awards.
First, writer Tasha Fierce reads an essay that will be published in the upcoming Law & Order issue of Bitch exploring the history of black women leading civil rights movements—from the 1960s all the way to Black Lives Matter. Then, we listen through a growing archive of protest chants and think about how future historians will look back on today’s protests. Finally, musician and writer Jordannah Elizabeth makes us a mixtape of current protest music.
A Portland police officer hugs 12-year-old Devonte Hart at a Ferguson protest in Portland, Oregon, last week. Devonte was holding a sign offering free hugs and the officer asked to take him up on the idea. Photo by Johnny Nguyen.
I waited three months to hear the phrase—the phrase that etched another devastating moment into the history of America. When it finally came, I prayed for the Brown family, who had to endure a painful Thanksgiving dinner with one less light at the table.