Not your granddaddy’s civil rights activists


Not your granddaddy’s civil rights activists

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Brant Sanderlin
Atlanta Black Lives Matter activist and organizer Mary Hooks (center) speaks to the media on Nov. 24, 2014, outside Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, where she announced a peaceful rally at Underground Atlanta in response to developments in Ferguson, Mo., following a police officer’s fatal shooting of an unarmed black man. (BRANT SANDERLIN /

In the cradle of the civil rights movement, the next generation of activists, operating under a mantle that began as #BlackLivesMatter, is making strides.

These new activist leaders are mostly young, frequently female and not necessarily straight. And their tactics are unapologetically in your face.

But if they were actually in your specific face, would you even know who they are?

There’s Mary Hooks, 33, an organizer of the Atlanta Black Lives Matter chapter. “This is not your granddaddy’s civil rights movement,” she says. “We’re not sitting around and waiting for someone in a suit to come save us.”

There’s Aurielle Marie Lucier, 21, a spokesperson for the Atlanta social justice organization #ItsBiggerThanYou. “We’re in a different climate, with a different movement and different tactics,” she says. “It doesn’t matter what you look like or how you present yourself.”

There’s Dre Norman, an Illinois native and LGBT activist who, being 47, qualifies as an elder in the new movement. “We’ve got to keep people in the streets. … There’s a lot of work to be done.”

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