3-D ENNIS (D O N OT D ELETE ) 7/8/2016 9:15 AM BLACK CONTEMPORARY SOCIAL MOVEMENTS, RESOURCE MOBILIZATION, AND BLACK MUSICAL ACTIVISM A NDREA L. D ENNIS * I I NTRODUCTION In the last few years a grassroots social movement has emerged from the Black community. This movement aims to eliminate police and vigilante violence against Blacks nationwide. Blacks in America have long been subjected to this violence, and the issue has recently captured the country’s attention. Multiple groups are pressing for change, including Ferguson Action, Black Lives Matter, Say Her Name, and the leaderless social media effort organized by DeRay McKesson and Johnetta Elzie, to name a few. 1 These fledgling activist groups have already experienced some success, garnering public attention and government response. 2 As it currently stands, this nascent civil-rights movement has the potential to advance racial justice in twenty-first- century America, but its path is not without obstacles. According to social-movement theory, the ability of activists to further marshal support is vital to the continued development of this civil-rights movement. Whether engaging in street-level activism or pursuing formal change through judicial, legislative, or electoral processes, movement organizers will have to think rationally and strategically about resource mobilization and oppositional forces. At a minimum, they must amass money and manpower for their activities, establish group credibility in the eyes of their participants and Copyright © 2016 by Andrea L. Dennis. This article is also available at . * Associate Professor of Law, University of Georgia School of Law. Thanks to the organizers of and participants in The Present and Future of Civil Rights Movements: Race and Reform in 21st Century America conference hosted by Duke University School of Law. This article benefited from comments received during earlier talks hosted by Dr. Eithne Quinn of the American Studies Department at the University of Manchester. Cassidy Grunninger and Ashley McGinley contributed valuable research assistance. 1. For information on these groups, see B LACK L IVES M ATTER , (last visited Feb. 15, 2016); F ERGUSON A CTION , (last visited Feb. 15, 2016); S AY H ER N AME , (last visited Feb. 15, 2016); W E THE P ROTESTORS , T HE P LANNING T EAM , (last visited Feb. 15, 2016). 2. See Wesley Lowery, On Policing, the National Mood Turns toward Reform , W ASH . P OST (Dec. 13, 2015), orm/2015/12/13/1174ef1e-a03f-11e5-a3c5-c77f2cc5a43c_story.html.
3-D ENNIS (D O N OT D ELETE ) 7/8/2016 9:15 AM 30 L AW AND C ONTEMPORARY P ROBLEMS [Vol. 79:29 the public, and remain sensitive to the costs of movement participation imposed by government officials and countermovements.