The Unknown History of Black Uprisings

By Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor

Read the full article from The New Yorker, here.

This perception of riots as the decline of the nonviolent movement has marginalized the study of them within the field of history. As a result, our conventional wisdom about “the riots” of the sixties vastly underestimates the scale of Black insurgency and its political meaning. In her new book, “America on Fire: The Untold History of Police Violence and Black Rebellion Since the 1960s,” the Yale historian Elizabeth Hinton recovers a much longer and more intense period of Black rebellion, which continued into the nineteen-seventies. In doing so, she challenges the dismissal of what she describes as the “violent turn” in Black protest, forging new ground in our understanding of the tactics employed by African-Americans in response to the extralegal violence of white police and residents and the unresolved issues of racial and economic inequality.

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