Part of a Long Tradition of Freedom Struggle: Derecka Purnell Reflects on the Present Moment

Derecka Purnell (‘17), human rights lawyer, writer, and organizer, contributed to Harper’s BAZAAR reflecting on 100 days of protest following George Floyd’s murder and the topics of preserving Black lives, abolishing the police and the prison industrial complex, and how this moment in the fight for racial justice relates to the past (“After 100 Days of Protest, Writers and Photographers Reflect on What They’ve Witnessed,” Sep. 4). “Our Black liberation movement is a direct and indirect challenge to America’s carceral state, not because it is programmatically abolitionist, but because full liberation of Black people at all levels of American society is not possible within the present criminal legal framework of the American system. The whole damn system is guilty.”