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Oct 28, 18

Kite Line: The Long History of Black Resistance and Mass Incarceration

Kite Line returns with a weekly episode. This week, on the history of black resistance to mass incarceration.

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In this interview, Elizabeth Hinton sketches the relationship between the civil rights movement, urban uprisings and the beginning of the “War on Crime,” with a focus on the Harlem Riot of 1964, and the1 965 Watts Rebellion, which was triggered by police brutality and became a key law-and-order talking point.  She then moves through a range of problems within the Black Power movement, focusing on overlooked experiences in the Dodge Revolutionary Union Movement in Detroit and Huey Newton’s later reflections on the Black Panthers.  She also focuses attention on the FBI Counter Intelligence Program or COINTELPRO, and its role in breaking down Black Power organizations by spreading fear and conflicts inside and between them, as for example in the conflict between the Panthers and United Slaves Organization, or US.

In this interview, Hinton starts off by telling us about the Harlem Riot of 1964, which was a key starting point for other waves of disruption throughout the 1960s, including the Watts Rebellion.

She continues to research the linkages between state counterinsurgency programs and the maintenance of mass incarceration. Hinton released her celebrated history, “From the War on Poverty to the War on Crime,” two years ago.  You can hear her in-depth talk about this book in Kite Line episodes 63 and 64.

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Kite Line is a radio program devoted to prison issues around the Midwest and beyond. Behind the prison walls, a message is called a kite: whispered words, a note passed hand to hand, or a request submitted to the guards for medical care. Illicit or not, sending a kite means trusting that other people will bear it farther along till it reaches its destination. On the show, we hope to pass along words across the prison walls.

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