Black Armed Resistance

View Left of Black Enrichment’s corresponding lesson plan.

Throughout American history, African Americans have sought to utilize weapons to protect themselves. In many cases, Black armed resistance has been depicted as indiscriminate violence or as something that needs to be controlled by a white citizenry.

Explore the timeline below to gain a broader understanding of how Black armed resistance and access to guns have been a part of American history.

This video is excerpted from a larger conversation between Left of Black host Mark Anthony Neal and Akinyele Omowale Umoja, author of We Will Shoot Back: Armed Resistance in the Mississippi Freedom Movement (NYU Press). A longtime activist and educator, Professor Umoja is an associate professor and chair of the department of African-American studies at Georgia State University, where he teaches courses on the history of the civil rights and Black Power movements and other social movements. He has been a community activist for over 40 years.

The full conversation can be viewed below.

Further Resources