Protests against police treatment of black people have laid bare growing tensions between long-standing civil rights groups that have battled discrimination for decades and new groups of leaders who want an edgier approach, says USA Today. Young activists are demanding a prominent voice in a national conversation about race, challenging the primacy of established civil rights organizations such as Al Sharpton’s National Action Network and the NAACP.
The divide was on public display earlier this month at a march organized by Sharpton in Washington, D.C., when activist Johnetta Elzie, 25, and other protesters pushed to the front of the stage and demanded a share of the spotlight. There were similar conflicts at an interfaith service in October in St. Louis, where young activists heckled speakers and charged that NAACP President Cornell William Brooks was out of touch. “This ain’t your grandparents’ civil rights movement,” said rapper and activist Tef Poe.