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POLS 1101: American Government (Cherenet): Finding Sources


Research Assignment: The Civil Rights Movement was a time dedicated to activism for equal rights and treatment of African Americans in the United States. During this period, many people rallied for social, legal, and political changes to prohibit discrimination and end segregation. Even today, the struggle for the civil rights of African Americans continued to dominate the political landscape. Write a three-page essay describing what role if any the Black Lives Matter movement plays to promote the civil rights of African Americans.

Below you will find where to start your search for scholarly articles, books, and newspaper articles on the Black Lives Matter movement.  

Here is a search tutorial (5 min 40 sec) to help you get started on the below resources.

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Long Time Coming

Long Time Coming grapples with the cultural and social forces that have shaped our nation in the brutal crucible of race. Dyson traces the genealogy of anti-blackness from the slave ship to the street corner where Floyd lost his life--and where America gained its will to confront the ugly truth of systemic racism.

We Still Here: Pandemic, Policing, Protest, and Possibility

Marc Lamont Hill critically examines the “pre-existing conditions” that have led us to this moment of crisis and upheaval, guiding us through both the perils and possibilities, and helping us imagine an abolitionist future.

From Enforcers to Guardians

By using a public health framing, this book challenges readers to recognize that the suffering created by excessive police violence extends far outside of death to include sexual, psychological, neglectful, and nonfatal physical violence as well.

The making of Black lives matter: a brief history of an idea

The plea and demand that 'Black Lives Matter' comes out of a much older and richer tradition arguing for the equal dignity -- and not just equal rights -- of black people.The Making of Black Lives Matter presents a condensed and accessible intellectual history that traces the genesis of the ideas that have built into the #BlackLivesMatter movement.

From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation

Mass protests in the wake of the police murders of Michael Brown and Eric Garner have challenged the impunity with which officers of the law carry out violence against black people and punctured the illusion of a post-racial America. The Black Lives Matter movement has awakened a new generation of activists.

Black Lives Matter: from a Moment to a Movement

This text places the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement within the broader context of the African American struggle for equality in America, from the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s to the violent protests against white supremacy that took place in Charlottesville in 2017.

Black Lives Matter vs. All Lives Matter

In the wake of the murder of George Floyd, the debate between proponents of Black Lives Matter and All Lives Matter has been reignited. For proponents of Black Lives Matter, the slogan All Lives Matter is not a call for inclusiveness but a criticism of the Black Lives Matter movement. On the other hand, advocates of All Lives Matter insist their slogan is about diversity and colorblindness.

Becoming Abolitionists

For more than a century, activists in the United States have tried to reform the police. From community policing initiatives to increasing diversity, none of it has stopped the police from killing about three people a day. Millions of people continue to protest police violence because these "solutions" do not match the problem: the police cannot be reformed. Purnell argues that police can not be reformed and invites readers to envision new systems that work to address the root causes of violence.

The Cambridge Companion to Civil Disobedience

'Digital disobedients', Black Lives Matter protestors, Extinction Rebellion climate change activists, Hong Kong activists resisting the PRC's authoritarian clampdown...all have practiced civil disobedience. Whether or not civil disobedience works, and what is at stake when protestors describe their acts as civil disobedience, is systematically examined, as are the legacies and impact of Henry Thoreau, Mahatma Gandhi, and Martin Luther King.

Against Civility

Spanning 200 years, Zamalin shows that civility has never been neutral in its political uses and impacts. The best way to tackle racial inequality is through "civic radicalism," an alternative to civility found in the actions of Black radical leaders including Douglass, Tubman, Wells, Baldwin, and Malcolm X. Citizens who care deeply about racial and socioeconomic equality will see that they need to abandon this concept of discreet politeness and more fully support disruptive actions and calls for liberation, which have already begun with movements like #MeToo, the Dakota Access Pipeline protests, and Black Lives Matter.

The People's Plaza

Jones describes those two revolutionary months of nonviolent resistance against a police state that sought to dehumanize its citizens. The People's Plaza is a rumination on the abuse of power, and a vision of a more just, equitable, anti-racist Nashville--a vision that kept Jones and those with him posted on the plaza through intense heat, unprovoked arrests, vandalism, theft, and violent suppression. It is a first-person account of hope, a statement of intent, and a blueprint for nonviolent resistance in the American South and elsewhere.

The Loud Minority

The Loud Minority demonstrates that voters are in fact directly informed and influenced by protest activism. Every facet of the electoral process is touched by this loud minority, benefiting the political party perceived to be the most supportive of the protestors' messaging. Drawing on historical evidence, statistics, and interviews about protest activity since the 1960s, Gillion shows that electoral districts with protest activity are more likely to see increased voter turnout at the polls. An exploration of how protests affect voter behavior and warn of future electoral changes and at the many ways that activism can shape democracy.

Julian Bond's Time to Teach

Julian Bond sought to dismantle the perception of the civil rights movement as a peaceful and respectable protest that quickly garnered widespread support and detailed the ground-shaking disruption the movement caused, its immense unpopularity at the time, and the bravery of activists (some very young) who chose to disturb order to pursue justice, beginning with the movement's origins in the early twentieth century.