The death of Trayvon Martin sparked a series of responses across the United States, including the birth of grassroots movements, Black Lives Matter, and state-sponsored initiatives, such as My Brother's Keeper (MBK). With the growing protests and concern over structural inequalities, the MBK initiative has gained significant attention and financial support. This article considers to what extent MBK misses a real opportunity to improve the lives of youth of color by recycling much of the problematic assumptions of its 1965 predecessor, the Moynihan Report. It seeks to raise key questions, such as the extent to which MBK reinforces structural inequalities by creating the conditions for an oppositional sexual politics, and in what ways MBK serves as strategy of containment that restricts protest and ultimately societal transformation. Altogether, these concerns carry new significance in the context of continued protests against state-sanctioned violence targeting black lives and black life.
Xhercis Méndez; Which Black Lives Matter?: Gender, State-Sanctioned Violence, and “My Brother's Keeper”. Radical History Review 1 October 2016; 2016 (126): 96–105. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/01636545-3594445
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