What 1968 Can Teach Us About Protest and Upheaval in 2020

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OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA - MAY 29: Demonstrators block traffic on Interstate 880 during a protest sparked by the death of George Floyd while in police custody. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Images from protests around the country this week are evoking memories of the political and social upheaval of the 1960s, another period when demonstrations of this scope and scale engulfed the county. The 1968 assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. sparked similar riots and protests across the country. A few years earlier, violent protests exploded in the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles following an altercation between African Americans and police. Forum examines the history of black protest and civic uprising in the U.S. and what it teaches us about this moment.


Clayborne Carson, director, Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute, Stanford University

Omar Wasow, assistant professor of politics, Princeton University

Elizabeth Hinton, professor of history and African and African American Studies, Harvard University