deray mckesson



nov 2014 – ferguson protest organizers – i sleep eat and breathe this

The protest campaign, which emerged out of the riots that followed Brown’s killing, lacks a single charismatic leader or direction from a national organization. But at the front lines, an influential contingent of organizers including Mckesson is giving the movement a sense of identity and shaping how the American public sees it.


find/follow Deray:

link twitter

I will never betray my heart. Curator, connector, commited to ed equity. TFA alum. Educator. Bowdoin loyalist. Protestor.


this is the movement site:

this is the movement


we the protesters site:

from their site:

We, the protesters of Ferguson and beyond, in order to fulfill the democratic promise of our union, establish true and lasting justice, accord dignity and standing to everyone, center the humanity of oppressed people, promote the brightest future for our children, and secure the blessings of freedom for all black lives, do ordain and dedicate ourselves to this movement of radical liberation.


As an adult, I’ve also seen perfectionism for the demon that it is. The most beautiful things are often the product of chaos.


Thank God (and @jack) for Twitter. Because if not for Twitter the STL police surely would’ve harmed all the protestors by now.

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deray mckesson (@deray)

2/20/15 7:29 AM
We must be mindful of the ways in which we are tricked into participating in our own oppression, mistaking this for liberation.


deray mckesson @deray

Where did all of these “scientific studies” articles proving that “white privilege is real” come from? First the NYT, now The Atlantic.

@deray Is there anything whiter than needing academic studies from the ivory (read: white) tower to substantiate a reality proven daily?

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april 2015 – whoa – the calm the day in day out has brought this man (what do i know – he may have had it before..)


on the movement..

Mckesson arrived in Ferguson, and the next day he headed over to West Florissant, where he was tear-gassed. His terse, matter-of-fact updates, which had seemed almost comical when describing the banalities of everyday life, took on a forceful lucidity in the context of the protests, especially when they were accompanied by raw photographs from the scene.


Previously, Mckesson used the social-media platform to post random news articles that interested him, but now he was realizing its documentary power. He quickly grasped that a protester’s effectiveness came mostly from his ability to be present in as many places as possible:


Mckesson and Elzie have always insisted that the movement is leaderless, that it is a communal expression of pent-up anguish spilling onto the streets, but over the fall, they were frequently called upon to serve as its spokespeople.


Together, Mckesson and Elzie were developing a model of the modern protester: part organizer, part citizen journalist who marches through American cities while texting, as charging cords and battery packs fall out of his pockets.


In the end, Mckesson did not get to deliver his speech. The Rev. Al Sharpton, who followed Holder, went long, and there was no time left.


I wasn’t ready for @DeraysShoes.

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In March, I resigned. It was the right decision. & my savings + friends/family have sustained me thus far.

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There was a point when I believed that the pressure for change could happen best from within, hence my work in school systems.

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interview june 2015

3 min – on things more important than popular

5 min – i left classroom to figure out the system …

tamir will never be a 9th grader

so – we need to get out of the systemic talk.. no?

7 min – i was standing there.. in this moment – realizing.. this is not ok.

deray unfolds a pluralistic ignorance ness – via twitter

15 min – i didn’t know anyone.. but i didn’t feel alone at all

16 min – on coming out of silence.. you will not keep killing us

18 min – when need to get people in a room to hear each other… ie: what does black on black mean..

while i’m hearing this.. Clint is tweeting this..  et al…

It’s a pernicious shaming tactic, to make someone feel bad for their decisions without even asking what social realities shape that choice.
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20 min – on police hiding in plain site.. on the power of people asking questions

22 min – what’s different about this movement.. is the regular people are getting woke.. being woke and staying woke are 2 different things

we were fighting then community building.. now working on what it looks like to win

27 min – you should not have to know my full name and where i leave for my life to have value.. and we shouldn’t have to train people not to kill 12 yr olds…

28 min – we have to fix things at a deeper level..

systemic ness

41 min – twitter has allowed us to be in community differently

i just want as many people to be woke and stay woke as possible

i need you to wake up

50 min – cool how he refocuses… ie: my pain is nothing like…

53 min – on the power of the media to shift the convo

57 min – on getting access to a racist system

1:00 – i’ve not seen violence in protest… property damage and violence are 2 diff things

1:01 – white supremacy is more afraid of black unity than black rage

1:15 – what will always be powerful.. are people in the streets… but there are many ways to protest

1:21 – to be in presence with people who fought the same fight as you in a different way


guardian piece on deray – aug 2015

I will always remember that the call to action initiating the movement was organic – that there was no organizing committee, no charismatic leader, no church group or school club that led us to the streets. It is powerful to remember that the movement began as everyday people came out of their homes and refused to be scared into silence by the police.


We have exposed the terror of police violence. But the terror continues. The police have killed 700 people in 2015 so far. In the next phase of the movement, we will build common language around solutions – around how to end police violence, around how to win.
and/or… rise above winning ness.. and model a nother way… to live.
rev of everyday life

As much as this fight is about systems and structures, it is also a fight about hearts and minds. We will work hard to teach people that the safety of communities is not predicated on the presence of police – that safety is a more expansive notion than policing. Safety is strong schools, access to jobs, workforce development and access to healthcare, among many other things.

and/or .. beyond schools.. jobs
And just as a path through a mountain is made passable not just by removing the stone but by supporting the mountain from crumbling back in on itself, we know that no barrier will ever truly be removed until a corresponding structure, system or policy has positively taken its place
and let’s make sure it’s deep/simple/open enough for all of us.. as one.
otherwise.. it won’t work.
one world.
one love.

We did not start this. We have never started any of it. They kill(ed) us. They creat(ed) systems to harm us. We did not start this. We are fighting to end it.

We are, and have always been, more than our pain. We will win.

again – rising above .. who started it. rising above.. winning.

we (be us ness) can do better.

ni ness.


aug 2015 – Ferguson on the one-year anniversary of Michael Brown’s death – whites openly carrying rifles and peaceful blacks being arrested

the next year focus on solutions.. the protest will end when injustice ends..

another way.. rev in reverse.


aug 2015 – campaign zero


Boom! @deray is teaching @Yale this semester: #BlackLivesMatter

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nov 2015

#BlackLivesMatter activist DeRay Mckesson speaks at #glaadgala San Francisco

protest is so many things..

danger in the either or

the quiet – the place you’re not supposed to make noise.. for many of us.. the world is the place we’re not supposed to make noise..

some people are coming out of the quiet.. not the closet. simply because you did not know did not mean they were hiding..

a collective power of those whispers coming together..

our work is to listen better. we have never been the voiceless.. we have been the unheard..

just because people aren’t shouting doesn’t mean they’re silent.. just because people don’t show up in the ways you expect doesn’t mean they’re hiding.

render visible the invisible..




jan 2016

DeRay McKesson Helps Stephen Address His Privilege

king was much more aggressive than the dream we remember

the movement is diff w/tech

we’re acknowledging this is a systemic issue.. we just have to figure out what we’re going to do about it




feb 2016 – baltimore mayor ship.. (bb if mayors ruled)

announced Wednesday that he was running for mayor of Baltimore.

Mr. Mckesson, a Baltimore native who will run as a Democrat

In a statement, Mr. Mckesson said that he was running to challenge the normal order of governing in the city. “We cannot rely on traditional pathways to politics and the traditional politicians who walk that path,” he wrote. “We have to challenge the practices that have not and will not lead to transformation.”


i am running for mayor

View at


Yes!!! @deray late to the game, but as a candidate he has a real plan

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Meet Calvin, my father. Together, we will win. #DeRayForMayor…
what should motivate everyone.. is love. that’s what’s missing. love is the why. – Calvin McKesson





(bb if mayors ruled)

neighbor\hood (govt) et al



So much of what we’ve done in protests is tell the truth in public—@deray #BlackLivesMatter

“What is important to understand is that there are many ways to organize, and there are many people who want to do the work that don’t want to be members of something,” he told Refinery29. “They don’t want to be members of an organization, but they want to do the work. What we have seen is that there’s power in that, too.”

decision making ness… making consensus ness irrelevant


It was in that moment that I understood that this is not the America that I thought it was, and I was willing to put what I had on the line for the America I knew it could be.


People were willing to put whatever they had on the line to say that we would not be silent.”


So much of what we’ve done in protests is tell the truth in public, knowing that that’s a precursor to changing the way the world works.


But we also are operating in a time that is different and tools that are different, and that is true as well. So I don’t feel pressure to be like anyone who came before us. I am mindful that I have things to learn from those who came before us.”

dator ridiculous law


.. I think the movement is a testament to the importance of people having the tools to tell the truth on their own and not being mediated by someone else.….. For so many people, social media allows them to tell the truth and to hear the truth, and that is a necessary precursor to people acting. Social media allows people to be in the conversation. Is it ‘enough’? No. Nothing is. But is it necessary? Yes.”



We talked about a lot in those cells (he was there 17 hrs)– about #BlackGirlMagic in protest, the Metro Council, new ways of organizing, and voting.

‘new ways of organizing & voting’

redefine decision making

disengage from consensus

host life bits

a nother way

self-talk as data



.@deray‘s mugshot from being arrested in Baton Rouge last night. And, @deray telling @nytimes about why he protests.


deray mckesson (@deray) tweeted at 7:10 AM – 17 Jan 2017 :

Today we launch The Resistance Manual, an open-source platform to compile information/resources to resist. (

Everyone who wants to resist Trump should read this new manual.

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Haven’t read more than the headline yet (will later) but that sounds about right.

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radical imagination” to describe the importance of articulating affirmative visions for a more just society, to complement their critiques of existing oppressive arrangements around race, gender, sexuality, politics, and economics. Among many other places, this rhetorical turn toward “imagination,” a common keyword in futurist circles, is evident on Black Lives Matter activist DeRay Mckesson’s podcast Pod Save the People. At the end of his introductory soliloquies, Mckesson frequently exhorts his listeners to hit pause on the daily grind of activism and dedicate time and energy to imagining a future where major transformations have taken place—both to keep themselves motivated in the face of setbacks and to ensure that their work is actually building toward the more equitable future they want to bring into being.

a nother way.. sans money.. sans B.. imagination via daily self-talk/curiosities.. as data

ie: hlb via 2 convos that io dance.. as the day..[aka: not part\ial.. for (blank)’s sake…]..  a nother way


on other side of freedom

deray (@deray) tweeted at 12:55 PM – 17 Jul 2018 :
You can pre-order my forthcoming book, On The Other Side of Freedom, now at! You can get tour tickets now, too.
& a portion of all pre-order proceeds goes to the @NAACP_LDF to support their work in/out of courtrooms as they fight for justice! (

on hold at library – thanks library

on the other side



It’s always interesting to watch people in the academy who “study” justice and “those in community” mock, de-value, and question the knowledge of the very people whose existence has created a “expertise” for them.
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Ethan Zuckerman (@EthanZ) tweeted at 8:48 AM on Sat, Jun 22, 2019:
This is important to read.

“To a certain cast of the judicial imagination, speech by a DeRay Mckesson may seem to be unprotected because … something … about Mckesson may seem uniquely dangerous.” on a bad ruling against the Black Lives Matter leader:

tell me this has nothing to do w race

Mckesson was at a protest in Baton Rouge where someone threw an object that injured a police officer; now the officer, proceeding under a pseudonym, wants Mckesson to pay him for his injuries, claiming that Mckesson “did nothing to calm the crowd” and “incited the violence.”


We can dismantle the system at its core. We can do it in this lifetime. There are systems and structures that protect and enable the police as they kill. It’s time to strip it all bare and build something that works. #JacobBlake
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ie: cure ios city