Policing Black Bodies: A dialogue on poverty, police brutality, and the way out
"There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, "When will you be satisfied?" We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality." MLK 1963 (From the I have a dream speech). The failure to indict the police officers responsible for the deaths of Michael Brown Jr., in Ferguson, MO and Eric Garner, in Staten Island, NY, has re-ignited public debate about the value of Black life. These events exhibit tensions that emerge at the intersection of urban crime control policies, policing practices, and community life for Black and Brown people in the United States. In the spirit of Dr. King and the long struggle for civil rights, these events have given rise to new forms of activism, as a new generation of students, organizers, artists, and everyday people stage die-ins at their universities, raise their hands at hip-hop concerts, and use their bodies to choke the expressways and thoroughfares of New York and St. Louis. This panel of activist-academics and public intellectuals will lead a dialogue on these events, the underlying racial tensions that facilitate them, and the ways in which this new generation of activism may provide a way forward.
Dr. Shaun Ossei Owusu, Bronx native, public intellectual, and writer for The Huffington Post, salon.com, and most recently, Jacobin magazine. See his piece on body cameras at https://www.jacobinmag.com/author/shaun-ossei-owusu/
Dr. Kamau Rashid, Asst.Professor of Education at National Louis University. His most recent work is on danger and blackness. See http://kamaurashid.khemenu.com/?page_id=9
Finn Bell, PhD student in the joint doctoral program in Social Work and Sociology at the University of Michigan. He is an activist and organizer for GLBTQ rights, homeless youth, human trafficking, and anti-racism.