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Chapter 9:

2020 Atlanta Uprisings: The Declaration to Live and the Resolve to Win

Pre-Reading Glossary

  • Declaration

  • Jeopardy

  • Public Lynching

  • Cavalier

  • Vigilantes 

  • Rebellion

  • Black Freedom Movement

  • Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCU)

  • Regurgitate

  • “Progressive”

  • Transformative

  • Resignations

  • Disrupt

  • Agitate

  • Discomfort 

  • Political Opportunists

Essential Question

How is a declaration to live and the resolve to win necessary for those who choose to resist?

Comprehension Check

Question 1

Who is Messiah Young, and why is his experience significant to our 2020 Atlanta Uprisings study? 

Question 2

Why does Messiah declare, “I am not going to die tonight”? What historical and present-day factors contributed to his calculation of the danger that he and Taniyah were in? 

Question 3

The 2020 Atlanta Uprisings began on Friday, May 29th, 2020. How did these uprisings differ from those in our recent past? (Duration, Demands, Losses, and Victories) 

Question 4

What threat has Mawuli identified when he writes, “We must protect them from the political opportunists who would attempt to hijack their energy and convert it to a hollow caricature of the radical and revolutionary change it could become.”?

Question 5

How does Mawuli situate himself in relationship to the 2020 Atlanta Uprisings and the work of young people?

Question 6

As of the writing of this book, “The six Atlanta police officers who assaulted and terrorized them (Messiah and Taniyah) have been fired and indicted but have not stood trial for the criminal charges brought against them.” Considering the record of previous police convictions, what is the likelihood that these officers will be convicted of the charges brought against them and why?


Create protest art/ resistance art, for example:

  • song

  • poem

  • collage

  • story

  • rap

  • dance

  • sculpture

  • digital art

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