On October 19th, the Murphy Institute had a packed house for “Black Lives Matter/Fight For $15: A New Social Movement,” sponsored by the Murphy Institute and the Sidney Hillman Foundation.
The forum panelists highlighted that the growing movements, Black Lives Matter and Fight For $15, share in the struggle for access to justice and equality. These movements not only intersect but recognize that together there is the opportunity to create significant change.
To view the video of the forum click here — please share the video with others to help keep this conversation going.
The Murphy Institute will continue to host discussions regarding Black Lives Matter and the Fight for $15. The January 2016 issue of New Labor Forum will feature an article by Russell Rickford, Assistant Professor of History at Cornell University. Read on for an excerpt, examining the development of Black Lives Matter as a growing social movement.
Born as a Twitter hashtag, Black Lives Matter has evolved into a potent alternative to the political paralysis and isolation that have confronted racial justice proponents since the election of Obama. In just over two years the young movement has reinvigorated confrontation politics, giving voice to a popular and righteous rage, establishing a new touchstone of grassroots resistance, and ending the acquiescence that has crippled progressive and radical forces in the age of Obama. The upsurge, which has centered on the crucial, galvanizing issue of police misconduct, also shows signs of addressing larger questions of social inequity. With continued momentum, Black Lives Matter may help reverse the counteroffensive against workers and people of color that has defined the long aftermath of the 1960s and 1970s liberation struggles. To surpass the relatively ephemeral accomplishments of precursors like Occupy Wall Street, however, the emerging movement must draw on and modernize the creative traditions of popular insurgency. It must become a sustained, truly mass struggle, confronting ferocious backlash and overcoming multiple challenges while developing its considerable strengths. . . .