Author: Donna Murch

Donna Murch is associate professor of history at Rutgers University, New Brunswick, and author of the award-winning monograph, Living for the City: Migration, Education and the Rise of the Black Panther Party in Oakland. She is currently completing a new book entitled Crack in Los Angeles: Policing the Crisis and the War on Drugs.

Historicizing Ferguson

Police Violence, Domestic Warfare, and the Genesis of a National Movement Against State-Sanctioned Violence

Each generation has a moment when its members share an instance of collective experience that is forever etched into their memory. For the Civil Rights and Black Power generation, it was unquestionably the open-casket funeral of Emmett Till. The disfigured remains of this fourteen-year-old boy became a mirror in which black youth witnessed their most vulnerable selves. The sight was so excruciating that it helped catalyze direct action protest from rural Alabama to the streets of Oakland for nearly a decade and a half.