Full humanity: Black Lives Matter symposium

In the civil rights movement, language of political participation was central. BLM activists are making a more profound demand.

The Black Lives Matter movement that has unfolded in cities and on campuses across the nation is writing a new chapter in black people’s struggle for liberation. We asked writers to reflect on what the movement has accomplished, where its energies should be focused, and what implications it has for churches. (Read all responses.)

In the summer of 2015, two Black Lives Matter ac­tivists disrupted a Bernie Sanders rally. Marissa Johnson and Mara Jacqueline Willaford called Sanders to account for his position on racial justice. The largely white crowd began to boo, hurling racial epithets and ridiculing John­son and Willaford for disrupting a cause that was intended to address the problem of poverty and for seeming to protest the candidate mostly closely aligned with the BLM platform.

This was not the first such disruption and would not be the last as protesters across the country stopped traffic, interrupted speeches and press conferences, and refused to be invisible in the midst of America’s most recent racial reckoning.