For many of the young people who we work with, the police symbolize fear rather than protection. The experience of being consistently harassed by law enforcement is deeply felt and can engender a great deal of anger. Much of that anger however is unexpressed and it is almost never analyzed or contextualized historically. Thus young people are sometimes left feeling powerless in the face of aggressive policing in their communities. The police are our most readily accessible symbol of the state’s power over our daily existence. Their role in our society, in our communities, and in our lives deserves to be examined and discussed.
So the question is: how do we as adults engage young people around the history of policing in the United States and the manifestations of police violence?
We hope that the resources and activities that we offer on the Black and Blue website will help to answer the question.