Rinaldo Walcott on Riots, Policing, and Traditions of Black Refusal

“The Black riot is a refusal of entrenched policing practices that has boiled over. The riot is an expression of revolt with a historical basis in slavery. In activist circles, riots have been renamed uprisings, thereby giving their actions a deeper meaning. And the difference isn’t merely semantic. Riots often garner the attention of state authorities in a way that so-called peaceful protests do not. The riot, or uprising, is an important element of the quest for Black freedom.”