The urban riots of the 1960s were catalyzing events: a violent coda to an earlier period of attempts at peaceful revolution and change. The summer of 2007 marks the fortieth anniversary of some of the worst of the riots. The devastation of the disturbances and the underlying causes continue to haunt our cities and the psyche of the nation. In a preface to the Kerner Commission Report Tom Wicker wrote that the riots and the rioters were the personification of our “nation’s shame, of its deepest failure and its greatest challenge.” More recent events including riots following the arrest of Rodney King and racial violence in Benton Harbor, Michigan only serve to prove Wicker’s contention that resolving the economic and social inequities that are, in many ways at the core of urban mob violence, remains a challenge for America.
The materials in this bibliography – in book, electronic and journal form – focus on the riots and subsequent events. The bibliography is not comprehensive but focused instead on those items that are readily available to faculty and students through the Thurgood Marshall Law Library.
Please contact the library at 410-706-6502 if you have specific research questions.