Truth-Telling from the Margins: Exploring Black-Led Responses to Police Violence and Systemic Humiliation

  • Arthur Romano
  • David Ragland


This chapter examines the layered, intersecting, and often overwhelming forms of injustice that shape experiences of systemic humiliation for Black people in the United States. While drawing attention to the systemic context in which persistent experiences of humiliation occur, this chapter primarily analyzes grassroots efforts in which people that experience oppression come together to explore ways to heal from, and critically analyze, systemic racism. In particular, we highlight the Truth-Telling Project (TTP), a grassroots collective founded by three St. Louis natives in 2014 that sought to directly respond to issues of police violence in Black communities. The TTP has invited family members of those killed by police, as well as others who have experienced direct police violence, to a series of events in which they supported in sharing their experiences and join with people from a wide range who are interested in ending police violence. This “testimony” is also often recorded and shared with other communities along with educational materials and dialogue frameworks which are then used to lead discussions about transforming systemic humiliation and seeking greater justice. In examining the TTP, which grew out of the Ferguson protests, this chapter considers how communities that are deeply alienated from and targeted by the criminal justice system and other institutions are working to build alternative social institutions to address racialized oppression and humiliation and the challenges and opportunities that arise when exploring possibilities for realizing a more just society.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Arthur Romano
    • 1
  • David Ragland
    • 2
  1. 1.School for Conflict Resolution and AnalysisGeorge Mason UniversityArlingtonUSA
  2. 2.Pacifica Graduate InstituteCarpinteriaUSA

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