Reading Freely: A Riot vs. A Rebellion: A Telling of The Riot Report Documentary

June 17, 2024

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Can we ever learn from history or are we forever doomed to repeat it? On this episode, listen to producer, Nehemiah Bester, as he shares his experience working on the documentary film, The Riot Report on PBS, while comparing and contrasting his personal accounts of rebellion, most notably during the Racial Reckoning of 2020, as a student, activist, and journalist.

What's a riot? And what's a rebellion? The Riot Report itself, was the written conclusion of President Lyndon B. Johnson's Kerner Commission of 1967 on what was needed to remedy the massively tense relations among Black people and police that spawned countless riots and uprisings of the 1960s. It's decades later, but what lessons from this investigation can we learn from to prevent future turmoil? And when can we answer President Johnson's century old question? “What happened? Why did it happen? What can be done to prevent it from happening again, and again?”

Watch the film

Catch Reading Freely bonus content on Thinking Freely, ACLU of Maryland's podcast that informs Marylanders about what's happening politically – from the courts to the streets – so they can get involved and realize a more equitable Maryland for all. 


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