The Movement for Black Lives: Philosophical Perspectives

New York, NY: Oxford University Press, Usa (2021)
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The Movement for Black Lives has gained worldwide visibility as a grassroots social justice movement distinguished by a decentralized, non-hierarchal mode of organization. MBL rose to prominence in part thanks to its protests against police brutality and misconduct directed at black Americans. However, its animating concerns are far broader, calling for a wide range of economic, political, legal, and cultural measures to address what it terms a “war against Black people,” as well as the “shared struggle with all oppressed people.” Despite the significance of the social, political, and economic goals of MBL, as well as the innovative organizational leadership strategies it employs, MBL has received little sustained philosophical attention. The Movement for Black Lives: Philosophical Perspectives brings philosophical analysis to bear on the aims, strategies, policy positions, and intellectual-historical context of MBL. Leading scholars address the following themes: “Black Lives Matter” as a political speech act, MBL’s conception of the value of black lives, the gender dynamics of the Movement, the relation of MBL to other black liberation movements and transitional justice movements, the Movement’s new forms of leadership and organization, and the impact of racism on the normative assessment of the criminal justice system. Accordingly, the volume broaches a wide range of pressing issues in the philosophy of language, social and political philosophy, philosophy of race, philosophy of gender, and the philosophy of punishment. It is important reading for students and scholars in the humanities and social sciences interested in race, inequality, and social justice movements.



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Author Profiles

Michael Cholbi
University of Edinburgh
Alex Madva
California State Polytechnic University, Pomona
Benjamin S. Yost
Cornell University

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