Some people believe the United States has long moved past the civil rights battles of the 1960s; others believe the fight is ongoing. Shaun King, a writer and activist, will give a lecture entitled “Civil Rights Today: The New Civil Rights Movement” to share his views on the issue.
King was unavailable for an interview prior to the event.
A well-known, yet controversial, figure in the Black Lives Matter movement, King sees racism as “a mutating virus, and one that manifests in different forms in every age,” according to his website. He occasionally appears on TV and other media and as a commentator on The Young Turks to advocate for social justice.
But as a leader of social activism groups “Justice. That’s All.” and “Justice Together,” King’s own volunteers grew frustrated with his alleged minimal presence and action.
JT30, an assembly of 30 former state directors for Justice Together, accused him of lacking transparency and employing the delay tactics they were meant to be combating, failing to delegate responsibilities and only using volunteers to draw attention to his personal brand rather than influence change before Justice Together’s “abrupt end.”
“We held a great deal of respect for Shaun King,” wrote JT30. “Honestly, we are grateful that King launched Justice Together, because without that step, we would not have connected as a team.
“Ultimately King is a great reporter and motivator, but he lacks the necessary skills to lead a platform like Justice Together.”
Having accomplished little, some would say, the organization shuttered. King refunded money that had been raised for their efforts, despite reports from Fox News and Bill O’Reilly to the contrary.
Outlets such as Breitbart and the Blaze in 2015 accused King of lying about his race and about being a hate crime victim. In a CNN report, King said he was assaulted in 1995 by what he called a “racist mob of rednecks” and spent more than a year in recovery afterward.
A family member of King’s told Don Lemon of CNN that the “altercation was about him being a white guy dating a black girl,” though King still maintains it was a hate crime.
These experiences and more led King to social media prominence, speaking engagements on college campuses nationwide, guest editorial opportunities and radio and TV appearances. From August 2014 to December 2015, King said he accepted no speaking fees.
To hear the award-winning activist as a part of NSU’s recognition of Black History Month, come to the A.A. Fredericks Auditorium Feb. 26 at 6 p.m.