Eighteen-year-old Michael Brown, a black, unarmed man, was fatally shot by Darren Wilson, a white police officer, in Ferguson, MO, on August 9, 2014. There were conflicting viewpoints regarding the events leading up to Brown's killing and on whether he was surrendering or approaching Wilson. In November, a grand jury did not indict Wilson. Both Mike Brown's death and the grand jury's decision led to protests across the country touching on racial tensions and police brutality. Police in Ferguson reacted with a militarized response, both immediately following the event and again after non-indictment, exacerbating the unrest. Darren Wilson later resigned from the police force. In the months that followed, protests continued, and since that time, greater discussion has been happening around the country on structural racism and violence toward black people by white police. In March 2015, a Department of Justice report found that the Ferguson police had a history of routinely violating the civil rights of black citizens. The Ferguson city manager resigned after the publication of the report.
This guide is meant to serve as a jumping-off point for students and faculty to gain a better understanding of the events related to Mike Brown's death and the subsequent protests and unrest in Ferguson. It also collects resources that may be used by UA instructors to teach Ferguson and related topics in their courses. We will try to keep this guide as up-to-date as we can.
A number of libraries have contacted us requesting to copy this guide and use it for their campuses or schools. Please incorporate these resources or copy the whole guide, you have our permission! Also consider signing Safiya Noble's statement from information studies academics and professions to affirm #BlackLivesMatter.