The act of protest is an undeniable force that works to draw people together, often by courageously resisting injustice to achieve positive social change. After the murder of Houston native, George Floyd in Minneapolis, people around the world have come together to fight the racial imbalances within our constitutional democracy. These protests are highlighting the importance of maintaining a balance between individual rights; liberty and equality; civil disobedience, and the rule of law.
The advent of social media and its subsequent ubiquity has increased the number of photographs and videos used to chronicle everyday life. The immediate dissemination of shocking and disturbing images plays a powerful role in this new movement against – race and social inequality movements in America- and in the world while helping to finally shed light on racial injustice and violence. These radical changes in the media landscape have made it impossible for Americans and the world to turn their backs to the plights of marginalized citizens.
Witness to the Truth, the virtual portal, from Houston Public Library Special Collections archives: The African American Library and the Gregory School and the Houston Metropolitan Research Center presents a glimpse into Houston’s history of protest. With striking images and oral histories, the works capture profound changes that have taken place in Houston beginning during the 1960s Civil Rights Movement, through Texas Southern University’s Weingarten's sit-in in 3rd ward to today’s Black Lives Matter Movement including the marches from Houston’s Discovery Green to City Hall, protesting the murder of Mr. Floyd (Please click the mural of George Floyd below to access the George Floyd Memorial).
As different groups in Houston and across the globe continue to experience oppression based on such constructs as race, gender, social status, and sexual orientation and while the cultural and political climate continues to evolve – movements will continue to gain momentum and arise. It is through this act of protest that people are able to collectively and effectively resist while expressing their non-acceptance of the unjust.