Then: Protests fueled by Christian credos with a soundtrack of gospel music and spirituals. Now: “More raw anger" in the streets, but with hip hop and other current music as the soundtrack. Then: Nonviolence. King once was punched in the face on stage, took the blows, and urged that the white man not be charged.
Now: Protesters more militant, “no one's going to tolerate a punch in the face” without responding. Then: Black demonstrators supported by white people opposed to the Vietnam War. Now: Black demonstrators supported by others frustrated by the pandemic and economy.
Then: Civil rights leaders felt the sympathy of Presidents Lyndon B. Johnson and John F. Kennedy. Now: President Donald Trump “mimics the language” of '60s white supremacists about protesters. Then: Activists such as three young men, two of them white, murdered 56 years ago this week in Mississippi's Freedom Summer, could suddenly disappear.
Now: Social media and cellphones provide quick calls for help; cell phone cameras can make police abuses “go viral.”