The Movement for Black Lives: Philosophical Perspectives

Brandon Hogan (Editor), Michael Cholbi (Editor), Alex Madva (Editor), Benjamin S. Yost (Editor)

Research output: Book/ReportBook

Abstract / Description of output

The Movement for Black Lives (M4BL) has gained worldwide visibility as a grassroots social justice movement distinguished by a decentralized, non-hierarchal mode of organization, and in 2020 Black Lives Matter protests across the country shook America's moral conscience to its core. M4BL rose to prominence in part thanks to its protests against police brutality and misconduct directed at Black Americans. However, its animating concerns are far broader, calling for a wide range of economic, political, legal, and cultural measures to address what it terms a "war against Black people," as well as the "shared struggle with all oppressed people." Yet despite the significance of the social, political, and economic goals of M4BL, as well as the innovative organizational leadership strategies it employs, M4BL has so far received little sustained philosophical attention.

The Movement for Black Lives: Philosophical Perspectives brings philosophical analysis to bear on the aims, strategies, policy positions, and intellectual-historical context of M4BL. Leading scholars tackle such themes as: "Black Lives Matter" as a political speech act, M4BL's conception of the value of Black lives, the gender dynamics of the Movement, the relation of M4BL to other Black liberation movements and transitional justice movements, the Movement's new forms of leadership and organization, and the impact of racism on the normative assessment of the criminal justice system.

The volume broaches a wide range of pressing issues in the philosophy of language, social and political philosophy, philosophy of race, philosophy of gender, and the philosophy of punishment. It is vital reading for students and scholars in the humanities and social sciences interested in race, inequality, and social justice movements.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages320
ISBN (Electronic)9780197507810
ISBN (Print)9780197507773, 9780197507780
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • social movements
  • Black Lives Matter
  • inequality
  • political philosophy
  • M4BL
  • racial justice
  • distributive justice
  • social philosophy


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