Thursday, April 6, 2023 4:30 PM to 7:00 PM EDT
The historic uprising in the wake of the murder of George Floyd transformed the way Americans and the world think about race and policing. Why did it achieve so little in the way of substantive reforms? Cedric Johnson’s new book, After Black Lives Matter, argues that the failure to leave an institutional residue was not simply due to the mercurial and reactive character of the protests. Rather, the core of the movement itself failed to locate the central racial injustice that underpins the crisis of policing: socio-economic inequality. Contemporary policing reflects the turn from welfare to domestic warfare as the chief means of regulating the excluded and oppressed. Rather than abolishing police, After Black Lives Matter argues for abolishing the conditions of alienation and exploitation contemporary policing exists to manage.
Cedric G. Johnson is associate professor of African American Studies and Political Science at the University of Illinois at Chicago. His books include Revolutionaries to Race Leaders: Black Power and the Making of African American Politics (the 2008 W.E.B. DuBois Outstanding Book of the Year by the National Conference of Black Political Scientists) and The Panthers Can’t Save Us Now: Debating Left Politics and Black Lives Matter.