The Take A Knee Movement: A Legacy of the Civil Rights Movement

Originally posted on the Wicked Problems, Wicked Solutions blog.

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.” – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (Letter from Birmingham jail).

Today, we honor the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who gave his life in the fight against injustice. He, along with thousands of other Americans, used peaceful protest and civil disobedience in an effort to secure African-American’s equal access to the vote, education, work, transportation, and housing.

Dr. King may be gone, but the fight for equality rages on. In the 21st century, advocates of social justice fight against institutional racism, which refers to institutional practices that negatively affect a group of people based on their race or ethnicity. In the last several years, we have seen Americans push back against institutional racism in our criminal justice system.

Consider the following tables from Slate, which highlight racial inequalities in the American criminal justice system.

African-Americans are 3x as likely to have their cars searched by police.



Continue reading here.

About Double take Sociology

I am a Professor of Sociology, a Research Associate in the Pepper Institute on Aging and Public Policy, and an Associate Dean for Faculty Development and Community Engagement in the College of Social Sciences and Public Policy at Florida State University. I research (and write about) social movements, mass media and politics. To find links to my research, visit
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