African Americans have mobilized against the police to defend Black life since the 1960s and before. For this cycle of massive urban rebellion to succeed in changing the racist structures of society, it will require learning from this history and struggles abroad.
Donna Murch is an associate professor of history at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey and a member of the Executive Council of the American Association of University Professors–American Federation of Teachers. She is the author of Living for the City: Migration, Education, and the Rise of the Black Panther Party in Oakland, California, which won the Phillis Wheatley Prize. Her next book Assata Taught Me: State Violence, Mass Incarceration, and the Movement for Black Lives is forthcoming from Haymarket Books.