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Charlotte Talks: Have Today's Protests Sparked A New Civil Rights Movement?


Thursday, June 18, 2020

Since the killing of George Floyd, hundreds of thousands of protesters have been marching across the country demanding legislative changes as concepts like institutional and systemic racism become household conversations. Is this the beginning of the modern-day civil rights movement?

The demands of the civil rights movement of the '50s and '60s called for, among other things, integration, fair housing and equal access and opportunity.

Today, there are calls to end police brutality and institutional racism in all forms. And while most protesters decades ago skewed young and primarily people of color, today’s movement is powered by people of all races and ages, largely under the banner of the Black Lives Matter movement.

Twenty-first century technology has also changed the landscape in many ways, from protesters organizing over social media to cell phone videos being used to document abuses of power.

Simultaneously, we’re living through a global pandemic, where mass gatherings may be contributing to the spread of COVID-19 and people of color are disproportionately affected.

We talk to a panel that knows the history and struggle for civil rights personally to consider the similarities of the two movements.


Corine Mack, Charlotte-Mecklenburg NAACP president

Kelly Alexander Jr., North Carolina House Representative, District 107

Dr. Jennifer Dixon-McKnight, assistant professor of history at Winthrop University

Jesse Steinmetz is Producer of Charlotte Talks with Mike Collins. Before joining WFAE in 2019, he was an intern at WNPR in Hartford, Connecticut and hosted a show at Eastern Connecticut State University.