Claire Schwartz in the New Yorker Magazine –
In July of 1964, on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, Thomas Gilligan, a white off‐duty police officer, shot and killed James Powell, a Black teen-ager. Uprisings erupted in Harlem and Bedford-Stuyvesant, which lasted six nights and then ignited protests across the nation.
In the foreword to her book “Civil Wars,” the Black feminist writer and activist June Jordan wrote that, in the aftermath of the protests, “I realized I now was filled with hatred for everything and everyone white. Almost simultaneously it came to me that this condition, if it lasted, would mean I had lost the point. . . . I resolved not to run on hatred but, instead, to use what I loved, words, for the sake of the people I loved.
However, beyond my people, I did not know the content of my love: what was I for?”