Chat with us, powered by LiveChat Police Brutality In Black Communities 1. Where are police brutality rates higher: in cities, urban, | Max paper

Police Brutality In Black Communities 

1. Where are police brutality rates higher: in cities, urban, suburban, or rural territories? Why?

2.What can be done to decrease police brutality?

3. Reasons for police brutality.

4. Racism is one of the main factors of police brutality.

5. Methods of prevention of police brutality in your country.

· You are to select an issue that marginalized people confront (USA or globally) that you will research and develop an activist strategy/plan. [Refer to “Essential Elements for Effective Activism” for additional information]. This is a 2 part project: A research paper and an Activist Creative Component with creative component to Mobilize target group (e.g. song, art, video, PSA, etc.)

· Write an 8-10 page (typed, 12 size font, proper margin spacing, double spaced). You are required to use course textbooks and at least 8 additional sources (journals, interviews, news reports, etc.). Paper should include:

· Background of the Problem- History, causal factors (e.g. racism, abuse, patriarchy, power, capitalism, etc.) (What makes this an issue?)

· Scope of the problem (# of people impacted, how are the affected/disenfranchised)

· A theoretical perspective

· Key figures/scholars/activists’ perspectives (Review of Literature) as inspiration

· Key laws (those that create barrier to change and those that help to underscore rights).

· Your Plan: Develop clear steps (step #1, step #2, etc.…), costs associated with your plan, possible obstacles, collaboration efforts with other organizations, how would you sustain your plan as an activist, social media organizing strategy)

· Bibliography (APA, Chicago Style, or MLA format)

· Citations required (footnotes or parenthetical notation)

· Grammar is critical.


Use, these websites

The Art of Protest

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The Art of Protest
Culture and Activism from the Civil Rights

Movement to the Streets of Seattle

T. V. Reed

University of Minnesota Press

Minneapolis • London

The companion Web site to The Art of Protest includes audio and visual materials,
bibliographies, discographies, filmographies, and links to historical and current
social movements, as well as a supplementary chapter, “Peace Symbols: Posters in
Movements against the Wars in Vietnam and Iraq.” Visit the book’s Web site at

Lines from “A Poem about My Rights,” by June Jordan, are from Naming Our
Destiny: New and Selected Poems (New York: Thunder’s Mouth Press, 1989).
Copyright 1989 by June Jordan. Reprinted by permission of the publisher
Thunder’s Mouth Press, a division of Avalon Publishing Group.

Lines from “Trying to Talk with a Man,” by Adrienne Rich, are from The Fact of a
Doorframe: Selected Poems, 1950–2001 (New York: W. W. Norton & Company, Inc.,
1973). Copyright 2002 by Adrienne Rich, copyright 1973 by W. W. Norton &
Company, Inc. Reprinted by permission of the author and W. W. Norton &
Company, Inc.

An earlier version of chapter 5 appeared in Wicazo Sa Review 16, no. 2 (2001):
75–96. An earlier version of chapter 6 appeared in Cercles 3 (2001). Portions of
chapter 8 appeared as “Toward an Environmental Justice Ecocriticism,” in Joni
Adamson, Mei Mei Evans, and Rachel Stein, eds., The Environmental Justice Reader
(Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 2003).

Copyright 2005 by the Regents of the University of Minnesota

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in
a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic,
mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the prior written
permission of the publisher.

Published by the University of Minnesota Press
111 Third Avenue South, Suite 290
Minneapolis, MN 55401-2520

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Reed, T. V. (Thomas Vernon)
The art of protest : culture and activism from the civil rights movement to

the streets of Seattle / T. V. Reed.
p. cm.

Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN 0-8166-3770-9 (hc : alk. paper) — ISBN 0-8166-3771-7 (pb : alk. paper)
1. Radicalism — United States. 2. Protest movements — United States.

3. Social movements in art. 4. Social movements in literature. 5. Radicalism
in art. 6. Radicalism in literature. 7. Radicalism — Songs and music — History
and criticism. I. Title.

HN90.R3R395 2005
303.48’4 — dc22 2005011442

Printed in the United States of America on acid-free paper

The University of Minnesota is an equal-opportunity educator and employer.

12 11 10 09 08 07 06 05 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

This book is dedicated to Ella Baker, Bernice Johnson Reagon,
and the millions of political-cultural workers, past, present, and
future, who march alongside them toward freedom and justice.

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Beauty walks a razor’s edge
— Bob Dylan

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Acknowledgments xi

Introduction xiii


Singing Civil Rights: The Freedom Song Tradition 1


Scenarios for Revolution: The Drama of the Black Panthers 40


The Poetical Is the Political:

Feminist Poetry and the Poetics of Women’s Rights 75


Revolutionary Walls: Chicano/a Murals, Chicano/a Movements 103


Old Cowboys, New Indians:

Hollywood Frames the American Indian Movement 129


“We Are [Not] the World”:

Famine, Apartheid, and the Politics of Rock Music 156


ACTing UP against AIDS:

The (Very) Graphic Arts in a Moment of Crisis 179


Environmental Justice Ecocriticism:

Race, Class, Gender, and Literary Ecologies 218


Will the Revolution Be Cybercast?

New Media, the Battle of Seattle, and Global Justice 240



Reflections on the Cultural Study of Social Movements 286

Notes 317

Index 345

All books are collective projects, but one of this scope is more than usu-

ally indebted to a host of people who helped make it possible. The map

that eventually became the territory of this book was first produced with

the aid of a Mellon Fellowship at the Humanities Center of Wesleyan

University. During my year there I was particularly grateful for the sup-

port of Richard Ohmann and for the friendship of Paula Rabinowitz,

the other “mellow felon” that cycle. At a crucial later stage in the project,

I received similar support from the Center for Cultural Studies at the

University of California, Santa Cruz. Center co-directors Gail Hershatter

and Chris Connolly provided a brilliantly stimulating environment, and

Hayden White quite literally gave me the space to work. The Fulbright

scholar program offered me the chance to work out some of the ideas in

this book with a bright group of students and faculty at Freie Universität

in Berlin, Germany. I am indebted to Margit Mayer and Bruce Spear for

their intellectual stimulation and hospitality during my stay there at the

John F. Kennedy Institut für Nordamerikastudien.

Among my many supportive colleagues in the American studies pro-

gram and English department at Washington State University, I would

especially like to thank Joan Burbick, Alex Hammond, Alex Kuo, Victor

Villanueva, Sue Armitage, and Shawn Michelle Smith for their friendship

and inspiring examples of committed scholarship and pedagogy. Among

my friends in the Santa Cruz diaspora, I especially thank Katie King,

Chela Sandoval, Barry Schwartz, Zoe Sofoulis, and Don Beggs. A number

of graduate students at Washington State also gave support and insight



as the project evolved. I note in particular the influence of Christina

Castañeda, John Hausdoerffer, Sarah Hentges, Azfar Hussain, Melissa

Hussain, Jennifer Mata, Lori Safin, Allyson Wolf, and Tony Zaragoza;

their scholarly activism and activist scholarship gives me hope for the


Many of these chapters began as presentations at national meetings

of the American Studies Association, my larger academic home, and I

am grateful for the work of scholars Hazel Carby, Michael Cowan, Michael

Denning, Paul Lauter, George Lipsitz, Lisa Lowe, Alvina Quintana, Jan-

Michael Rivera, Vicki Ruiz, George Sanchez, Steve Sumida, and Robert

Warrior, among many others, who make those conferences such stimu-

lating intellectual sites. Lauter and Carlo Rotello also provided crucially

important critical readings of the book in manuscript.

A less direct but more fulsome debt is owed to hundreds of cultural

workers for justice (of whom for me Bernice Johnson Reagon was the

paradigm and remains the paragon), who created the committed “art of

change” my work attempts to reflect and reflect on. This book is a trib-

ute to these indefatigable cultural workers, in the hope that I have done

at least partial justice to their brilliant, unceasing efforts.

Closer to home, two people played an immense role in this book.

Scholar-activist Noël Sturgeon, both as a model of engaged intellectual-

political labor and as my most trusted consultant on the substance of

this work, is owed an incalculable debt. Hart Sturgeon-Reed, who grew

from infant to teenager during the production of this book, inspires me

with his intellectual acuity, lightens my life with his wit, and reminds

me constantly of why we must struggle to leave the next generation a

better foundation from which to fight the good fight for social, economic,

environmental, and cultural justice. I am deeply grateful to Noël and Hart

for their love, and offer mine back to them along with the “acknowledg-

ment” that they are the most important people in my world. The love

and support of my sister Linda Ware, my mother Alice Reed, and my

niece Michelle Spencer have also been a crucial part of the world out of

which this writing has emerged, as has been my connection to a host of

wonderful relatives in the Reed–Sturgeon network. Finally, many thanks

to scholar-activist-editor Richard Morrison and all the other folks at

the University of Minnesota Press who brought this book and the com-

panion Web site out into the wider world.

xii Acknowledgments

This book hopes to prove useful to three main types of readers. For stu-

dents and general readers new to the subject, it presents an introduction

to social movements through the rich, kaleidoscopic lens of artistic and

cultural expression. For scholars of social movements, it offers intrigu-

ing observations on particular movements and useful insights into var-

ious ways to think about the relations between culture and social change.

For activists, it seeks to offer inspiration and a tool kit of ideas about

how art and culture can further movement goals. These three sets of

readers overlap, of course, in the form of scholar activists or activist

students, but to the extent that they sometimes speak different languages,

or have different interests, I hope that each type of reader will be patient

when encountering portions of chapters that may speak more clearly to

another of these audiences. Finding a style equally appropriate to all

has been my goal, but no doubt I have not always succeeded.

Social movements — the unauthorized, unofficial, anti-institutional,

collective action of ordinary citizens trying to change their world — have

shaped our politics, our culture, and our political culture as much as

any other single force. Studying movements matters because they have

played crucial roles in making national and world history. I have focused

in this book on movements in the United States, but throughout I show

how those movements have been connected to global changes. The

United States was created through a social movement, the American

Revolution, and social movements have helped make and remake our

nation since. Social movements, as the term implies, have been a moving



force, one of the most dynamic elements in the development of U.S. so-

ciety and the culture. In particular, I believe “progressive” social move-

ments like the ones at the heart of this book have been crucial in taking

the important but vague and still unfulfilled promises of “freedom” and

“democracy” announced in the revolution’s best known manifesto, the

Declaration of Independence, and given them more reality, more sub-

stance, and wider applicability to the majority of people — women, people

of color, the poor — who were initially excluded from those promises.

More than fifty years of scholarly analysis has not generated an agreed-

upon definition of social movements. But that is less of a problem than

one might think, since both ordinary folks and ordinary scholars, though

they may argue about borderline cases, know a movement when they

see one. And seeing one may be precisely the point. One of the foremost

scholars of social movements, Charles Tilly, argues convincingly that the

essence of movements entails “repeated public displays” of alternative

political and cultural values by a collection of people acting together out-

side officially sanctioned channels.1 (It is because those official channels

have failed some people that movements arise.) Movements, in contrast

to their tamer, more institutionalized cousins, political parties and lobby-

ists, seek to bring about social change primarily through the medium of

“repeated public displays,” or, as I would put it, through dramatic action.

I like Tilly’s definition because it plays to the prejudice of this book in

focusing on some of the most dramatic movements of the past several

decades. This book tells the stories of some key social movements in the

second half of the twentieth century. While movements can be found

across the political spectrum, I have limited myself to an interlinked set

on the “progressive,” left side of this spectrum. Within these limits, I have

chosen movements that I think have been especially important, but there

are many other equally worthy ones that I have been unable to include.

I make no claim to providing a comprehensive study of progressive

movements since the 1950s. But I believe this book gives a good sense of

major developments in a central tradition of dramatic protest, resistance,

and change. I hope my book inspires readers to delve more deeply into

movements and issues I can only touch the surface of, and into move-

ments I have been forced by constraints of time to omit or only glanc-

ingly mention.

At the same time, I have sought in other chapters to make clear that

as centrally important as dramatic, public action has been to social move-

xiv Introduction

ments, it is by no means the totality of their activity, or the sole source

of their impact. I have tried to show that dramatic actions are them-

selves the products of usually rather undramatic, mundane daily acts of

preparation, and that the impact of dramatic moments is only as great as

the follow-up forms of daily organizing that accompany them. In several

chapters, most obviously in those on the women’s and environmental

movements, I try to show that dramatic movement events happen in

other, less celebrated spaces, including apartment living rooms, aca-

demic offices, and classrooms.

The particular movements I have chosen to focus on have played and

continue to play a crucial role in expanding freedoms and giving greater

substance to the American claim to be a democracy of, by, and for “the

people.” In that sense, they are the movements that have, to paraphrase

poet Langston Hughes, made America America, a place that has not yet

been but one day yet must be a free and just society.2 These interlinked

movements, from the 1950s through the early twenty-first century, built

on ones that came before — from the revolution itself to the antislavery

movement, populist farmer and labor movements, woman’s suffrage,

and a host of others — and they built on each other as well.

The movements chronicled in this book begin with the great African

American civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s. That movement

was not only of tremendous importance in itself, but it also created a

master framework for protest that set in play key ideas, tactics, and forms

of resistance for the many movements that soon followed. Indeed, many

of these subsequent movements are also, among other things, “civil rights”

struggles. They are struggles for the right to equal and fair treatment,

and equal and fair access to the economic, political, and cultural goods

of the society. The word civil means pertaining to the life we live in

common, in community, and that is what these movements both assert

the right to and attempt to practice in their own work. Many movements

form strong cultures of their own, called “movement cultures,” which

offer alternative models of what our collective civil and civic lives might

be like, as part of their argument about the ways we have continually

fallen short of creating a just, egalitarian community.

This is the first book of comparative movement analysis to focus on

the cultural dimension of movements.3 In focusing mainly on the cul-

tural elements within and the cultural impact of movements, this book

seeks to fill a gap: scholars of social movements have had too little to

Introduction xv

say about culture, and cultural studies scholars have had too little to say

about movements. I use the concept of “culture” in three broad, inter-

related ways in the chapters that follow. First, I examine social move-

ments as sub- or counter-cultures to dominant cultures in the country.

Second, I look at the production of cultural texts (poetry, painting,

music, murals, film, fiction, and so forth) in and around social move-

ments. Third, and most broadly, I examine how the cultural texts, ideas,

identities, and values generated by resistance movements have reshaped

the general contours of U.S. culture (in the sense of “whole way of life”).

The study of social movements has been carried out by several differ-

ent kinds of investigators. Academics, including anthropologists, com-

munication scholars, historians, political scientists, and especially soci-

ologists, have examined movements from the perspective of their own

areas of expertise. Nonacademics, especially journalists and movement

activists themselves, have also contributed greatly to our understanding

of movements. Overall, sociologists have certainly produced both the

greatest volume of studies and the most systematic work. This book

owes a great deal to the many sociologists who have studied both the

particular movements I examine and the processes of social movements

overall. But as sociologists themselves have noted, until fairly recently

they have neglected the specifically cultural dimensions of social move-

ment activity.

Social scientists have concentrated primarily on the ways in which

movements have been forces of political change — changes in laws, legis-

lation, voting patterns, government institutions, and so on. They have

done a valuable service by subjecting movements to intensive and exten-

sive study, but this work has been limited by a strong bias toward the

most quantifiable elements of movements: numbers of participants,

amount of money raised, laws passed in response, shaping of voting

patterns, and so on. By comparison, social movements as forces of cul-

tural change have been relatively neglected. One key reason for this is

that culture is a messy business; it is a less easily measured object of

analysis than Supreme Court rulings, congressional bills, or income pat-

terns. But to ignore a whole terrain and its impact just because it is not

easily quantifiable seems highly unscientific, if not downright strange.

Movements are much more than the sum of quantifiable elements.

Movements, especially the kind talked about in this book, are deeply

transformative experiences for those who take part in them and deeply

xvi Introduction

transformative to those who are, sometimes quite indirectly or subtly but

pervasively, shaped by the ideas, feelings, styles, and behaviors emerging

from them. It takes nothing away from other important kinds of analysis

to say that we need far more work on the cultural forms active within

movements and the cultural forces movements unleash.

Cultural studies scholars, as the name suggests, have focused strongly

on questions of culture. But their prime target has been trends in popu-

lar culture, and subcultures that do not take the directly political form I

call “social movement cultures.” Much cultural studies work has offered

brilliant interpretive readings of cultural texts (movies, TV shows, pop

music, or fashion), but this work has not always been well grounded in

relation to the institutions and structural social forces that shape and

move through culture. In my view, the best cultural studies work has

attended to three interrelated levels of analysis: cultural production, the

texts produced, and audience reception of those texts. I will employ all

three of these at points in this book, but I am particularly interested in

movements as sites for the production and reception of cultural texts.

When I do use textual analysis, I am generally less interested in the for-

mal qualities of texts or in the attempt to read their larger cultural mean-

ings, than in their relation to each other within social movements as

part of the “cultural field.” French social theorist Pierre Bourdieu coined

the term cultural field for the social space where cultural texts exist in

relation to each other and in relation to texts in other social, political,

and economic fields.

Though not based in extensive new empirical research, this book seeks

to encourage a body of work, sometimes called “social cultural studies,”

that draws upon and synthesizes the best work from empirical history

and social science with the interpretive tools of the cultural studies tra-

dition.4 While I value formal textual analysis, and have done much of it

in previous work, I think it has been overvalued in cultural studies to

the neglect of meaning-making contexts. In this book, I have been more

interested in social movements as sites for the production and reception

of cultural texts than in the formal interpretation of these texts. Or, put

differently, the texts I am interested in most are the movements them-

selves, with their cultural productions as a means to that end.

I have tried to be precise in characterizing the relations between cul-

ture and the movements I explore here, but I am not interested in setting

up a single, systematic mode of exploring the movement-culture dynamic.

Introduction xvii

Instead, I am interested in exploring a variety of ways in which culture

matters to movements and movements matter to culture. Let me boldly

assert here one of my key premises: that those forces labeled cultural may

at times have a deeper and more widespread impact on most of our lives

than political or economic forces. But my intent is not to argue for the

greater importance of culture, just for its importance alongside and en-

tangled with political, social, and economic forces that have traditionally

gained more attention. These divisions — social, economic, political, cul-

tural — are, after all, themselves cultural concepts, not real things neatly

dividing the world. And giving culture a stronger footing in this list will

allow us to better understand the interactions of all these interwoven


Chapter Outline

This book consists of a set of interpretations of some of the key U.S.

social movements from the 1950s to the beginning of the twenty-first

century. Each chapter is designed to serve as an introduction to a move-

ment for those who know little about it, but also to offer a new angle of

vision to those who know the movement well. While I have been a par-

ticipant in many of these movements, I make no claim to be doing the

kind of work called “participant-observation.” And while I have done

original research on several of these movements, I make no claims to

having unearthed significant amounts of new empirical information. I

am acutely aware that to talk about close to a dozen movements and as

many different cultural forms borders on hubris. But while my range is

ambitious, my claims are modest. My main goal has been to creatively

reinterpret and synthesize elements from the large body of literature

available on each of these movements in light of questions of culture.

Relying on a great deal of rich secondary work by scholars and activists

before me, I have tried to offer fresh readings and to place them in jux-

taposition in mutually illuminating ways. This has meant incurring more

than the usual amount of debt to other authors, whom I hope I have

adequately thanked in my notes and acknowledgments. In addition to

these forms of recognition, however, I have made this book a tribute

to all the movement cultural workers whose texts and insights have made

it possible.

The movements I focus on are interrelated. I have emphasized a strand

of movements sometimes called the “direct action” tradition. These

xviii Introduction

movements have relied heavily on such direct action forms as civil dis-

obedience, sit-ins, strikes, boycotts, building or land takeovers, and other

dramatic confrontations. One key theme I argue throughout, however, is

that the “mobilizing” engendered by dramatic actions is only ultimately

effective when matched by active, in-depth, patient “organizing” of peo-

ple to take control of their own lives. This distinction, which I take from

the great civil rights activist/theorist Ella Baker, means that surrounding

the drama of social change there takes place much undramatic day-to-

day activity that alone can consolidate the work of a movement’s “ritual

public displays.” As I trace the particular features of each movement, I

also try to show how a growing set of influences diffused from move-

ment to movement, building a repertoire of ideas, tactics, strategies,

cultural forms, and styles.

The chapters are also intended to represent a range of examples of

ways in which culture has mattered to movements. The examples both

demonstrate how various art forms — music, murals, poetry, and so

forth — have made particular contributions to movement cultures and

social change, and raise more general questions about how culture works

in and around movements. Each chapter is designed both to historicize

the movement on which it focuses and to show that movement to be

very much alive today. The chapters cover a range of kinds of culture,

including folk culture (spirituals in the civil rights movement), high

culture (poetry in the women’s and fiction in the environmental move-

ments), and pop culture (rock music in the anti-apartheid movement,

Hollywood films and the American Indian movement), though these

categories are not mutually exclusive, especially in movement culture

contexts where they are often radically transformed.

Chapter 1 argues that music played a crucial role in virtually every

dimension of the African American civil rights movement. It traces the

rise and varied use of “freedom songs,” as activists transformed deep-

seated black religious and secular musical traditions into a major resource

for the struggle against racial injustice. Chapter 2 focuses on the black

power phase of the African American liberation struggle, demonstrating

that the Black Panther Party can be seen as engaging in a deadly serious

form of political drama on the national and world stage. The chapter,

like most of this book, challenges easy distinctions between culture and

politics, in this case between literary dramas and the “theater” of poli-

tics. Chapter 3 looks at the emergence and development of a new, radical

Introduction xix

wave of women’s movements beginning in the mid-1960s. Here I focus

on the role of poetry as one site of feminist consciousness-raising action

and as a resource in the formation of a variety of contested feminist

identities rooted in differences of race, ethnicity, class, sexuality, and

nationality, as they have evolved up to the present. Chapter 4 treats the

Chicano/a movement, focusing on the ways in which the thousands of

murals produced in and around the brown power movimiento embody

and reflect the political and cultural changes the movement generates in

its efforts to bring justice to U.S. communities of Mexican descent.

Where the first four chapters deal with cultural forms generated within

movements, the next two chapters deal with relations between move-

ments and mainstream popular culture. Chapter 5 focuses on the group

that called itself the American Indian Movement (AIM), one of the key

organizations in the wider Native American red power movement. This

chapter examines the ways in which the movement’s story has been told

through the widely circulated, if inevitably distorting, medium of the

Hollywood film. Chapter 6 takes a look at the role played by pop and

rock music in movements of the mid-1980s, especially the student-based

anti-apartheid movement. Student movements, from the 1930s through

the 1960s and the 1980s and into the present, have used popular culture

as an organizing tool. In focusing on one of these waves of student

activism, I try to show the important potential, as well as the limits, of

using pop culture as a force in the promotion of social movements.

Chapter 7 analyzes the brilliant use of graphic arts (posters, T-shirts,

banners, stickers) by ACT UP (AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power), the

movement group at the forefront of the fight against HIV/AIDS. I focus

on how the group mobilized both the gay community and other affected

populations through a direct action campaign illustrating how homo-

phobia, racism, sexism, and class prejudice had created a deadly “epi-

demic of signification” that stalled progress in saving lives.

Chapter 8 directly addresses the relationship between academia and

social movements, challenging the assumption that the former is all

theory, the latter all practice. I complicate both sides of this image by

reminding readers that academic culture is a site through which move-

ments are practiced, and by suggesting that movements are theory-

making sites just as surely as is academia. I consider the work I am doing

throughout the book as support for the work of social movements, but

this chapter makes this point in a more direct way by talking about an

xx Introduction

intellectual formation that has grown out of a movement context. The

chapter does this by describing and arguing on behalf of an emerging

trend in academic literary and cultural study that I call “environmental

justice ecocriticism.” I argue for the need to expand this field in the ser-

vice of the grassroots environmental justice …

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