Call it what you will, Black anger, rage, or whatever. But be mindful of the two things. First, It fuels resistance to systemic racism which is egregiously unjust and should have been ignominiously buried long ago. Second, its material roots lie in racist exploitation, oppression, brutality, and the systematic denial of rights over centuries, notwithstanding the country’s profession at the time of its founding that all people are created equal and have a “right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

That was untrue then and remains no more than an aspiration now. A bloody civil war extirpated slavery to be sure, but not racism. In fact, new structures and forms of racist oppression and exploitation arose soon after the war’s end and are present to this very day. It is this bitter and, at times, deadly reality combined with the unfulfilled proclamations of equality in high places that give rise to the righteousness anger of Black people and their supporters marching in cities across the country.