Legacy And Lessons From Ferguson

The message that will last out of Ferguson with New Yorker writer Jelani Cobb.

Photos surround the casket of Michael Brown before the start of his funeral at Friendly Temple Missionary Baptist Church in St. Louis, Monday, Aug. 25, 2014.  (AP)

Photos surround the casket of Michael Brown before the start of his funeral at Friendly Temple Missionary Baptist Church in St. Louis, Monday, Aug. 25, 2014. (AP)

The people of Ferguson, Missouri do not get a national, let alone a global, hearing just every day.  For most of the last 19 days, they have.  Days of chaos, fear, defiance, anger.  And, we hope, insight.  Writer and scholar Jelani Cobb was in the heart of the Ferguson uproar, writing for the New Yorker magazine.  He wrote about the shadow of lynching that fell over the town with Michael Brown’s death.  About a rush to police shock and awe.  About Ferguson in the context of America’s history and what comes now.  This hour On Point:  Jelani Cobb on Ferguson, and all of us.

— Tom Ashbrook


Jelani Cobb, associate professor of history and the director of Africana studies at the University of Connecticut. Contributor to the New Yorker. Author of “The Substance of Hope: Barack Obama And The Paradox of Progress.” (@jelani9)

From Tom’s Reading List

New Yorker: Between The World And Ferguson — “It took sixteen days for Brown’s body to be buried, an extended postscript that included three separate autopsies, the emergence of duelling interpretations of his last moments, and the resolution of precisely nothing about how race, media, and policing operate in the United States. “

FiveThirtyEight: The Poorest Corner Of Town — “Ferguson itself, however, is about two-thirds black and is largely integrated internally. It is not particularly poor. Its median household income is about $35,000, well below the national mark of about $50,000, but ahead of many neighboring communities. In the north end of the city, which features some large, handsome homes, household incomes are close to the national average.”

St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Recording captured shots fired at Michael Brown, lawyer says — If authentic, it is the first recording of the shooting that has surfaced. It would show that Wilson fired at least 10 times; a private autopsy said at least six shots struck Brown. The recording also chronicles a pause which over the past 36 hours has been the subject of much speculation.”

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
Dec 1, 2015
Bethany Winder, a nurse who lives in Colorado Springs, Colo., plants a sign in support of Planned Parenthood just south of its clinic as police investigators gather evidence near the scene of Friday's shooting at the clinic Sunday, Nov. 29, 2015, in northwest Colorado Springs. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Women’s health, American politics and gun violence after the Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood shooting.

Dec 1, 2015
In this 2010 file photo, Dr. Tom and Ann Earley work a Salvation Army kettle with their dog, Bocce, in an Atlanta, GA-area shopping center. (Flickr / Vicki DeLoach)

On #GivingTuesday, we’ll explore the trends in giving now from crowd sourcing to big charities and beyond.

Nov 30, 2015
Shoppers walks in front of a holiday display Sunday, Nov. 22, 2015, in San Francisco.(AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

From Black Friday to Cyber Monday and beyond, we’ll add up the dollars and trends and bargains of the 2015 holiday shopping season.

Nov 30, 2015
United Nations climate chief Christiana Figueres, center left, Minister of the Environment of Peru and COP20 President Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, center right, and French Foreign Affairs Minister and COP 21 President Laurent Fabius, center, pose for photographers during a press visit to the COP21, Paris Climate Conference, site, in Le Bourget, north of Paris, France, Sunday, Nov. 8, 2015. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)

World leaders converge in Paris for the big climate talks. We’ll look at what it will take to get a global climate agreement.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Fresh Ideas For Your Thanksgiving: Recipes
Wednesday, Nov 25, 2015

Did our Thanksgiving 2016 episode make you hungry? Good news — we’ve got recipes right here.

More »
Karl Rove Still Won’t Get Involved In The 2016 G.O.P. Primary
Tuesday, Nov 24, 2015

Karl Rove may say he’s not endorsing or getting involved in the 2016 G.O.P. presidential primary, but that won’t stop from offering advice on how to beat Republican front runner Donald Trump.

More »
Roger Cohen And Barry Posen On ISIS
Monday, Nov 23, 2015

A brief, but illustrative exchange between Barry Posen and Roger Cohen during our conversation on ISIS today.

More »