What Next

A History of Violent Protest

Big structural change in America doesn’t happen without violence.

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Episode Notes

The images are familiar now. The police in their face shields, armed with batons and cans of pepper spray. The protestors, sporting bruises, pouring milk on each others’ faces. What’s happening right now might make you feel uncomfortable and angry. Kellie Carter-Jackson says: that’s the point. Today on the show, why a nice, peaceful protest may not accomplish the structural change America needs.

Guest: Kellie Carter-Jackson, PhD, a professor at Wellesley College and the author of Force & Freedom: Black Abolitionists the Politics of Violence.

Other books mentioned in this episode: The Deacons of Defense: Armed Resistence and the Civil Rights Movement by Lance Hill. And This Nonviolent Stuff’ll Get You Killed: How Guns Made the Civil Rights Movement Possible by Charles E. Cobb Jr.

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Podcast production by Mary Wilson, Jayson De Leon, and Danielle Hewitt.

About the Show

The problem with the news right now? It’s everywhere. And each day, it can feel like we’re all just mindlessly scrolling. It’s why we created What Next. This short daily show is here to help you make sense of things. When the news feels overwhelming, we’re here to help you answer: What next? Look for new episodes every weekday morning.

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  • Mary Harris is the host and managing editor of What Next, Slate's new daily news podcast. She has reported throughout the public radio system, for NPR, Marketplace, and WNYC.

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