Protests against police brutality in Ferguson, MO and other areas of the United States have dominated the news over the past couple weeks and produced a number of important reflections on race, citizenship, political tactics, and respectability politics. Charles M. Blow calls for more widespread discussion about race in a recent New York Times piece. Ta Nehisi-Coates discusses police control over black bodies at The Atlantic. Blair L.M. Kelley links the Michael Brown shooting to the Dred Scott case at The Root. Writing for the Labor and Working Class History Association blog, Clarence Lang explores the link between protest tactics and respectability politics. The Crunk Feminist Collective likewise explored race and respectability in Ferguson, as did the Melissa Harris-Perry show this past weekend.
Ferguson has brought debates over black leadership and class divisions within black communities to the fore. Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor examines the generational and class divides among blacks in the U.S., while Brittney Cooper calls for new black leadership.
For sociological research informing events in Ferguson, see the Ferguson Syllabus.
While Ferguson has seen an outpouring of scholarly production to address this contemporary injustice, Historians Against Slavery continues their important mission of using history to abolish present-day slavery. Zoe Trodd recently examined the use of images in past and contemporary antislavery movements. And David N. Gellman discusses a useful assignment in helping students make connections between past and present abolitionism.
At the U.S. Religion blog, Trevor Burrows discusses the “Black Manifesto” and 20th century American religious history, while Dale Debakcsy examines the growth of African American atheism over the the New Humanist.
In other academic news, Claire Potter addresses the University of Illinois’s decision not to hire Steven Salaita and questions of academic freedom. Trish Roberts-Miller’s article on academic workloads sparked a lively discussion at Inside Higher Ed.