While the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the non-violent movement he epitomized is considered the most successful aspect of the Black Liberation Movement in the U.S., fact is not everyone agreed with that approach. Truth is many fought—with arms—to protect themselves, their families, community and their rights. Unfortunately, that story never has been widely reported, perhaps to try to discourage more of the oppressed then and now from taking up arms against discrimination and tyranny. Poet and Community Griot Omowale-Ketu Oladuwa has begun to uncover that history and teach it to those who feel the yoke of oppression today—whatever the form—to let the people know there are options. Meanwhile, here’s an interesting story being reported across the water:
How the civil rights movement changed black gun culture
The subject of guns is a volatile one in the black community: a disproportionate number of black Americans are killed by firearms each year.
Gang violence has destabilised some communities, while high-profile killings of black youths like Trayvon Martin and Jordan Davis have led political leaders to call for reforms to how guns are made, sold, used and stored.
But Nicholas Johnson, a law professor at Fordham University in New York City, says black Americans have a long, positive history with guns. Firearms, he says, helped black Americans escape slavery, defend their homes and fight for their freedom. It was only after the civil rights movement that the public attitude towards guns started to change.
He explores the hidden relationship between African Americans and firearms in his book Negroes and the Gun: The Black Tradition of Arms.