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FreedomCon 2021 – Racist Violence is as American as Cherry Pie

July 24, 2021 @ 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm


 Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, U.S. News & World Report Magazine Collection, Marion S. Trikosko, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

SNCC chair H. Rap Brown was excoriated after a July 1967 press conference where he told reporters: “I say violence is necessary. Violence is a part of America’s culture. It is as American as cherry pie. Americans taught the black people to be violent. We will use that violence to rid ourselves of oppression if necessary. We will be free, by any means necessary.”

Following the attack by Trump supporters on the U.S. Capitol, Joe Biden issued a statement that “The scenes of chaos at the Capitol do not reflect a true America, do not represent who we are.” While some Republicans in Congress accused the Democrats and Black Lives Matter movement of normalizing violence and rioting, other elected officials from both political parties, including Donald Trump, echoed Biden’s remarks. Unfortunately, H. Rap Brown was right. Violence, especially racist violence directed at African Americans is as “American as cherry pie.”


Alan Singer

Alan Singer, PhD, is a professor of Teaching, Learning and Technology and the director of social studies education programs at Hofstra University, Hempstead, New York. Dr. Singer is a former New York City high school social studies teacher and editor of Social Science Docket, a joint publication of the New York and New Jersey Councils for the Social Studies. He is the author of Teaching Global History (Routledge, 2011), New York and Slavery: Time to Teach the Truth (SUNY Press, Excelsior Editions, 2008), Education Flashpoints, Fighting for America’s Schools (Routledge 2014), Social Studies for Secondary Schools (Routledge, 4th edition, 20015), New York’s Grand Emancipation Jubilee (SUNY Press, 2018) and editor of a 268-page secondary school curriculum guide, New York and Slavery: Complicity and Resistance. In 2011, the Long Island Conference for the Social Studies awarded Dr. Singer the Mark Rothman Teacher Mentoring Award for his commitment to students and continued excellence in education. He received his Masters and Doctoral degrees from Rutgers University.

Follow Alan Singer on Facebook, Twitter and at Daily Kos (


Today’s event is made possible, in part, by an Action Grant from Humanities New York. Humanities New York encourages critical thinking and cultural understanding in the public arena through grants, programs, networking and advocacy. Visit to learn more.


July 24, 2021
3:00 pm - 4:30 pm


Mary Liz Stewart


Online via Zoom