Derecka Purnell in Conversation with Historian Elizabeth Hinton on the Past and Future of Resistance

Derecka Purnell (’17), abolitionist human rights lawyer, organizer, and columnist for The Guardian, interviewed historian Elizabeth Hinton for the Boston Review unpacking Hinton’s new book, America on Fire, and how the history of rebellion might inform the future of resistance (“Reclaiming the Power of Rebellion,” May 19). “Hinton’s book details the rock throwers; the families who surround cop cars until they free someone in cuffs from the backseat; and the spectacular acts of Black community defense and retaliation in the wake of racial violence against them. In response, local and federal governments circulate the same tired reforms that seek to build public trust in police without removing any power from police. This ineffective cycle equates to more rebellions and subsequently more police repression. America on Fire offers a fresh account of why Black people have historically continued to fight back against all odds.”