A year ago, Michael Brown’s body was lying in the street in Ferguson, Missouri, and would continue to lie in the street for several more hours after being shot by police. No one should wonder why Ta-Nehisi Coates uses the vulnerable body as the keystone concept in Between the World and Me–yes, it becomes his atheist counterpoint to the Christian soul. But Michael Brown, Prince Jones, Eric Garner, Christian Taylor and dozens of other unarmed Black men and women–mostly men–have been the victims of police violence in the past few years and decades.
This morning, DeRay McKesson tweeted a beautiful picture of himself, Netta Elzie, and Bree Newsome, three of the most visible new activists coming from the past year’s Black Lives Matter movement. They are making the world a better place. Like Coates, I know the limits of activism–necessary and important, and you do not have to save the whole world to have done the right thing.
More from DeRay McKesson and Kirsten West Savali. Sarah Sparks discusses the teenagers shot by police since Michael Brown’s death.