Protests in the long term: How is a lasting legacy cemented?

Protests in the long term: How is a lasting legacy cemented?


NEW YORK (AP) – What sort of staying power does it take for a protest movement to be judged a success?

This year, without a centralized team of senior leaders, perhaps the largest protest movement in U.S. history has been unfolding nationwide since the May 25 death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police. By some calculations, more than 15 million Americans have taken part – decrying racial injustice, reinforcing the message of Black Lives Matter.

There’s no way to know now what the movement’s legacy will be – whether it will wither or compel major breakthroughs in curbing racism and inequality. But at this moment, other major protest movements of the past can offer clues about what endures or what, at least, leaves a tangible legacy.

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“It’s important to see the changes over time and not be discouraged,” says Beth Robinson, a history professor at Texas A&M-Corpus; Christi.

By some measures, it took the U.S. women’s

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