Excerpt from “How 7 Civil Rights Activists View the George Floyd Protests”

…Bernard Lafayette, 79, who, like Mr. Young, accompanied Dr. King on the 1968 trip to Memphis where he was assassinated, has spent recent years training young activists in nonviolent social change. He traveled to Ferguson, Mo., to advise protest leaders there, and has spent the past weeks fielding phone calls from young organizers…

“Oh, I’m very hopeful, but also excited, because I see some very strategic things happening. The only thing we have to be concerned about is the sustainability.

I am more or less thinking about strategy, and that’s where I’m turning my energy. They call me on the phone all the time. I get 15 to 20 calls a day. I answer their questions. Mainly they need training. They need to build coalitions. I prepare folks to take different roles in the movement. You can’t do everything. People have different roles.

Now what I’m looking for is leadership among the young people. I’m looking for a new Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. The next thing that we need if we’re going to have a movement that is going to sustain itself — we need music, OK? Once you get those artists singing songs about change and the movement, that helps to stimulate people and bring them together. There is nothing like music to bring people together.

The other most, most important thing, you got to get people who are ready to register to vote. You have got to have people in power who represent you. You’ve got to be negotiating and talking to the people who will make decisions. You can’t just put it out there and be screaming in the air. The air can’t make the change.”

Link below: https://nyti.ms/3hxXRbQ

Photo from NYTimes - Floyd Protests

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