Special News Series: Rising Up For Justice! – After Biden win, Black activists demand reparations for slavery, police reform

Introduction To This Series:

This post is one installment in an ongoing news series: a “living history” of the current national and international uprising for justice.

Today’s movement descends directly from the many earlier civil rights struggles against repeated injustices and race-based violence, including the killing of unarmed Black people. The posts in this series serve as a timeline of the uprising that began on May 26, 2020, the day after a Minneapolis police officer killed an unarmed Black man, George Floyd, by kneeling on his neck. The viral video of Floyd’s torturous suffocation brought unprecedented national awareness to the ongoing demand to truly make Black Lives Matter in this country.

The posts in this series focus on stories of the particular killings that have spurred the current uprising and on the protests taking place around the USA and across the globe. Sadly, thousands of people have lost their lives to systemic racial, gender, sexuality, judicial, and economic injustice. The few whose names are listed here represent the countless others lost before and since. Likewise, we can report but a few of the countless demonstrations for justice now taking place in our major cities, small towns, and suburbs.

To view the entire series of Rising Up for Justice! posts, insert “rising up” in the search bar above.

After Biden win, Black activists demand reparations for slavery, police reform

By Marco della Cava, USA Today

November 13, 2020

Mary Hooks, Atlanta BLM leader
Mary Hooks speaks in front of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, GA. Hooks is a key leader in the the city’s Black Lives Matter chapter. Courtesy of Mary Hooks

When President-elect Joe Biden addressed supporters last week to accept the highest office in the land, he took a moment to thank one specific group of Americans.

“When this campaign was at its lowest, the African American community stood up again for me,” Biden said. “They always have my back, and I’ll have yours.”

Leading Black Lives Matter activists plan to hold him and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris to that I.O.U.with a vengeance.

In a tumultuous election year, one that both gave rise to a new civil rights movement in response to the death of George Floyd and saw Black Americans suffer disproportionately from the COVID-19 pandemic and staggeringly high unemployment, Black Lives Matter activists are asking the new administration to make Black matters paramount.

“For decades, Black people have shown up time and time again for a country that consistently tells us that our lives don’t matter,” said Mary Hooks, a founding member of Black Lives Matter Atlanta and co-director of Southerners on New Ground, a social justice advocacy organization. “Beyond a cheap thank you, we need this administration to be bold and unapologetic about paying that debt through enacting policy changes.”

After Biden accepted the presidency, Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors wrote an open letter to Biden and Harris saying “we want something for our vote” and asked for an immediate meeting.

To date, no meeting has been set, which is concerning, said Melina Abdullah, co-founder of Black Lives Matter Los Angeles and co-director of Black Lives Matter Grassroots, a national organizing arm of the organization.

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