American Democracy Is Only 55 Years Old—And Hanging by a Thread
Black civil-rights activists—and especially Black women—delivered on the promise of the Founding. Their victories are in peril.
I. To My Mother
you were born on July 9, 1964, in Greenwood, Mississippi, delivered into the cradle of white supremacy. Listening to the stories of terror and hope woven into the story of your birth used to frighten me. The year before you entered the world, white supremacists were blocking food aid to Greenwood, trying to starve Black sharecroppers who were demanding their civil rights. You were carried home in the...