When it comes to the struggle this time, I am rolling all the way with the millennial activists who are both the energy and the brains of this struggle. The old heads, establishment civil rights activists and black powerites, have been trying to get a movement restarted for half a century to no avail. Some even pretend the movement never ended. Those who went into the academy started teaching the movement as if it could be and should be replicated, and the next generation followed suit with hardly a critical deviation. Those who stayed activists are to be lauded for their service and shown to the rear. For the most part, they have a 1960s hangover. It will be their reference point all the way to the grave. They are no different from the Civil War veterans who looked backwards all the way into the 20th century.
The Millennials will not find an answer to all of their problems, but they have taken up the struggle to make society appreciate and affirm the value of black life. They tell us simply, #blacklifematters. I am watching LBGT youth struggle for something other than their own immediate agenda. I am watching poor youth turn to activism rather than despair. While it is true that any of us can be killed, I am watching college educated kids, those least likely to be put down or incarcerated, take up the cause of those less fortunate.
Convincing this society and this world that the lives of black people matter is no easy feat. It is especially not easy when there is no global competition between purportedly democratic systems, when there is no regional divide among the white majority, when the nation does not address problems with resources, when economic decline has replaced unlimited wealth. Neither Martin Luther King, nor Malcolm X knew anything of this world.
One might say, the problems this time are more akin to those experienced in the North in the 1960s, and yet no leader from the 1960s until now ever came up with a solution. This should humble all of us enough to support those who struggle to find the way where we could not.