These essays are not necessarily despairing, although they would have every right to be; rather, they are, in some ways, expressions of hope as much as they are affirmations of how the struggle of Black humanity has so deeply enriched and empowered much that is good and worthy, profoundly moral and artistically innovative about American life.
I am also hoping the long hot summer of 2020 will foster a new understanding of the fact that crime is systemic, it is not simply individual, and that deep systemic solutions are required to handle all social problems.
Real democracy, or “rule by the people” is not just about voting to elect public officials, campaigning for parties and candidates, and engaging in debates about the issues of the day. It is also about ordinary people—people like the early twentieth-century suffragists, the striking auto workers of the 1930s, the Freedom Riders of the Jim Crow South, and the Black Lives Matter activists of 2020—exercising their political power to fight for change.
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