…a lot of people who are unfamiliar with organizing, through no fault of their own, have little idea that it’s often the failed attempts that lead to the bigger successes. Big, successful marches that are connected to social movements — especially in the 1960s — don’t come from heaven. They have to be built and organized. And sometimes that lesson today can be distorted, because you can have lots of money from foundations that swoop in and make all of these resources available, but you still have the same problem: if it’s not connected to ongoing organization or organizing, then it’s a flash in a pan that can bring attention to a particular issue but doesn’t create the means to actually do anything about it.
An excerpt from Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor’s “How to Build a Mass Movement,” originally posted at SocialistWorker.org. Dr. Taylor is an assistant professor in Princeton University’s Center for African American Studies and the author of From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation.
The issue for the Left is how we get from where we are today to where we want to be in terms of making our marches blacker, browner, and more working class. Simply complaining about it changes nothing.
There will no effective movement against Trump that doesn’t directly confront the issue of racism. It has to be front and center, and it seemed to me that the march organizers took that question seriously and made genuine efforts to shift shortcomings in their original approach. Continue reading