From Civil Rights to #BlackLivesMatter

We find ourselves today amid a slew of 50th civil rights anniversaries – the march on Washington, the Birmingham campaign, the Civil Rights Act, the Voting Rights Act and Selma itself – at a time when African Americans and the young, in particular, have once again been galvanised into anti-racist activism across a country that has, once again, been forced into a conversation about racial inequality and state violence.

What can we learn from the Civil Rights movement? What can the #BlackLivesMatter movement teach America about our supposedly "post-racial" society? Where do we go from here?

GARY YOUNGE is an author, broadcaster, and award-winning columnist for the Guardian. Younge is the author of The Speech: The Story Behind Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s Dream (now in paperback), and the article Ferguson, Selma, and a mood for change.

Younge also writes a monthly column for The Nation magazine and is the Alfred Knobler Fellow for The Nation Institute.

Born in Britain to Barbadian parents, Younge reported all over Europe, Africa, and the Caribbean before being appointed the Guardian’s US correspondent in 2003. In 2009 he won Britain’s prestigious James Cameron Award for “combined moral vision and professional integrity.”

His first book, No Place Like Home: A Black Briton’s Journey through the Deep South, was shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award. His third book, Who Are We—and Should It Matter in the 21st Century?, was shortlisted for the Bristol Festival of Ideas Book Prize. The Speech is his fourth book.

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