From Stealing Freedom to Robbing Shoe Stores: A Qualitative Comparat

Bryant Brown


From the civil rights marches of the 1950s and 1960s to the Black Power demonstrations and the injustice riots of the1980s and 1990s, Black rebellions and riots have lost their effectiveness over the last decade. In recent history, Black rebellions and riots seem to be an excuse for looting rather than flexing the power of the Black culture. This paper investigates the history of Black rebellions and riots. In addition, it hypothesizes that the effectiveness of Black rebellions and riots has decreased because of the Black community’s transition from a collective culture to an individualistic culture. This hypothesis is predicated on the high context versus low context culture theory. To test this hypothesis, a qualitative comparative approach is used to analyze the history of Black rebellions and riots in a diachronic manner. The data collected were gleaned from scholarly journals, books, online sources, and interviews with individuals with expertise on the topic. By using the document analysis technique, the findings show that the decrease in effectiveness of Black rebellions and riots are a result of the individualistic mindset of the Black community.


African Americans; Black Power; Rebellion; Riots; Black Culture

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