Activists and scholars Percy Green II, Robin D. G. Kelley, Tef Poe, George Lipsitz, and Jamala Rogers with Elizabeth Hinton discuss more than five decades of black action in St. Louis, from the Civil Rights Movement to Black Lives Matter.
Percy Green II, a St. Louis native, is a recognized civil/human rights protestivist, and now a consultant. His pursuit of equality and justice bettered lives in St. Louis and the entire country. He was the plaintiff in the landmark U.S. Supreme Court Case, Green v. McDonnell-Douglas, which established legal standards for fair employment cases nationwide. Green earned a BA in Urban Affairs with a minor in Political Science from St. Louis University. He received his MSW from the George Warren Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis. Green's activism began in 1963 as a member of the St. Louis Congress of Racial of Equality during demonstrations aimed at convincing Jefferson Bank to hire African Americans. He attracted national attention in 1964 when he and Richard Daly climbed the Gateway Arch while under construction to protest racially discriminatory practices on the project. In 1965, he was elected to head and launch the direct-action organization Action Council to Improve Opportunities for Negros (ACTION). His advocacy philosophy is direct-action protests through civil disobedience. While this approach has resulted in considerable personal hardship—including periods of unemployment and over 100 arrests—it has also resulted in timely, positive advancement for many, including changes in business practices as well as increased employment and economic opportunities.
Robin D. G. Kelley is the Gary B. Nash Endowed Chair and Distinguished Professor of U.S. History at UCLA. His books include, Thelonious Monk: The Life and Times of an American Original (Free Press, 2009); Africa Speaks, America Answers: Modern Jazz in Revolutionary Times (Harvard University Press, 2012); and Freedom Dreams: The Black Radical Imagination (Beacon Press, 2002). Email: email@example.com
Kareem Jackson (better known as Tef Poe) is a rapper and agent for social change, born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri. Through his unwavering integrity, sincere rhymes and passionate actions, Tef is changing the musical and social-political landscape. He built his reputation as a battle rapper in St. Louis and has continued to grow and expand his vision to a broader spectrum. Always having penchant for politics and social justice, the subject matter easily found itself laced throughout his music. He is actively organizing/fighting for human rights with groups such as Amnesty International, Hands Up United, Organization for Black Struggle, and Justice For Reggie. Tef recorded and released a track titled “Change The World” … and that's exactly what he has set out to do.
George Lipsitz is Professor of Black Studies and Sociology at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He studies social movements, urban culture, and inequality. His books include Midnight at the Barrelhouse, Footsteps in the Dark, The Possessive Investment in Whiteness, A Life in the Struggle, and Time Passages. Lipsitz serves as chairman of the board of directors of the African American Policy Forum and has been a member of the Board of Directors of the National Fair Housing Alliance. He is the editor of Kalfou: A Journal of Comparative and Relational Ethnic Studies.
Jamala Rogers is a St. Louis, MO based community organizer, educator, and freelance writer. Her latest book is Ferguson is America: Roots of Rebellion. She will be the 2017 Activist-in-Residence at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.