Martin Luther King on the “Unspeakable horrors of police brutality.”

On Monday, January 10, 2022, Historian Jeanne Theoharis will shed light on Dr. King’s longstanding critique of police brutality or the Zinn Education Project’s Teach the Black Freedom Struggle online people’s history class. Join us and learn more about his ideas about U.S. structural racism and how northern ghettos functioned as a “system of internal colonialism” where police and the courts acted as “enforcers.”

As she notes in an article in The Atlantic, “Critics of Black Lives Matter have held up King as a foil to the movement’s criticisms of law enforcement, but those are views that King himself shared. Martin Luther King Jr. proclaimed, ‘We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality.’ King understood that police brutality — like segregation — wasn’t just a southern problem.”

Theoharis, author of A More Beautiful and Terrible History: The Uses and Misuses of Civil Rights History, will be in conversation with Rethinking Schools editor and high school teacher Jesse Hagopian.

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Note that these online classes with people’s historians are held at least once a month (generally on Mondays) at 4:00 pm PT / 7:00 pm ET for 90 minutes. In each session, the historian is interviewed by a teacher and breakout rooms allow participants (in small groups) to meet each other, discuss the content, and share teaching ideas. We designed the sessions for teachers and other school staff, however, parents, students, and others are welcome to participate.

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