Events / Neil A. Weiner Research Speaker Series

Riot or Rebellion? The Meaning of Violent Protest from the 1960s to George Floyd

Past Event
Monday, May 24, 2021
2:00 PM — 3:00 PM ET

Many Americans consider the decades since the civil rights movement as a story of progress toward equal rights and greater inclusiveness. Elizabeth Hinton uncovers an altogether different history, taking us on a troubling journey from Detroit in 1967 and Miami in 1980 to Los Angeles in 1992 and beyond, to chart the persistence of structural racism and one of its primary consequences, the so-called urban riot. Dr. Hinton offers a critical corrective: the word riot was nothing less than a racist trope applied to events that can only be properly understood as rebellions—explosions of collective resistance to an unequal and violent order.


Challenging the optimistic story of the post-Jim Crow United States, Hinton's discussion will present a new framework for understanding our nation's enduring racial strife. As her history suggests, rebellions will likely continue until police are no longer called on to manage the consequences of dismal conditions beyond their control and until an oppressive system is finally remade on the principle of justice and equality.

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