Blog #152 – Reactions to the chapter, “The Good Protest”
The chapter entitled, “The Good Protest,” primarily focuses on two things:
- That the “classic phase” of the Civil Rights Movement beginning with the Brown v. Board of Ed. case in 1954 and ending with the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 has been the only part of the Long Civil Rights Movement usually taught in schools, and by focusing on only these events, it does a disservice to the longer struggle for civil rights that Black Americans have waged since Reconstruction.
2. That the author points out numerous times when the classic phase of protests and past civil rights leaders have been used by current politicians to criticize modern civil rights protests for not following the older models.
What I would like you to do as you read over the chapter is pick several of these questions and answer them fully.
1. How have American protests, whether individually or in groups, been treated in our history books?
2. Describe the four misconceptions of the CRM from 1955-1968.
3. How did Alabama’s reaction to Homer Plessy’s protest on a segregated Louisiana train car directly lead to Rosa Parks’ arrest over 50 years later?
4. Provide at least one example of resistance to segregated busing and sit-ins that had happened BEFORE the first ones honored in the classic phase. Why has the author included these examples?
5. The classic narrative of the CRM suggests, according to the author, that white people just suddenly became aware of the evils of segregation in 1955, and that a small group of whites became allies in the struggle to end segregation. How believable is this scenario?
6. How surprising are the poll numbers from 1966 about the country’s perception of the CRM to you? Explain.
7. How can you explain the way that Parks and King were smeared as communists while they were alive but now are treated as iconic American heroes as great as any heroes America has produced?
8. How did President Reagan and Press Secretary McEnany misuse King to support their own agendas by knocking down a controversial topic of their time?
9. How did A. Philip Randolph’s plan to have a March on Washington in 1941 motivate FDR to sign Executive Order 8802?
10. How did Ella Baker’s speech to SNCC (Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee) in 1960 reflect Black Lives Matter’s attack on structural racism?
11. How did the CRM protest acts of police brutality in the past?
12. Why do you think the author compared baseball pioneer Jackie Robinson to Colin Kaepernick?
13. What did the Pew Research Center find out about American attitudes in August 2020?
14. How did some states crack down on the right to protest in 2021? Why do you think that they did this?
15. According to the author, why were some white people having trouble with BLM protests in the 2010s and 2020s?
16. Why do you think some people were critical of the protests against police violence in the summer and fall of 2020?
Your job: Read the chapter, answer bonded question #2 and then pick 4 additional questions to answer. Minimum 400 words for your answers to all 5 questions.