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Political Science General

Get Your Knee Off Our Necks

From Slavery to Black Lives Matter

by (author) Bruce E. Johansen

edited by Adebowale Akande

Springer Nature
Initial publish date
Jan 2022
General, General
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Jan 2022
    List Price

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The death of George Floyd on May 25, 2020, and the ensuing trial of Derek Chauvin for murder a year later has rubbed raw the bloodiest stain on the United States' history and its world reputation. The nine minutes and 29 seconds during which Chauvin's knee crushed the spark of life out of Floyd was not unusual in the history of the United States. Before the U.S. Civil War, slaves were routinely beaten to death for disobeying orders or running away, then often lynched. In roughly two centuries, Blacks have achieved nominal freedom. But, as this book's opening chapter and expert essays that follow indicate, freedom has been conditional based on inequity of wealth, social, and legal discrimination. None of this is new in the United States; what is new is the number of people rising up in protest, a figure in the millions around the world after Floyd's murder.


This book supplies a readable, scholarly account of recent issues in race and racism in the United States that will be useful for general readers, undergraduate students, and their professors. It will be useful in many fields, including Black studies, other ethnic pursuits, United States history, law, criminal justice, intercultural communication, et al. The work contains a powerful historical narrative followed by several important, essays on subjects including George Floyd's murder, the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement and many other victims of systematic racism.

About the authors

Contributor Notes

Bruce E. Johansen  is a Frederick W. Kayser research professor emeritus for Communication and Native American Studies at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, USA, where he taught and researched from 1982 to 2019, then retired with emeritus status. He has published 52 books in several fields: history, anthropology, law, the Earth sciences, and others. Johansen's writing has been published, debated, and reviewed in many academic venues, among them the William and Mary Quarterly, American Historical Review, Current History, and Nature, as well as in many popular newspapers and magazines, such as The New York Times and The National Geographic.

Adebowale Akande is one of the world's top contributors and productive cross-cultural researchers for research publications with over 32,120 Google scholar citations and over 200 refereed articles/chapters. Akande has held faculty appointments at several international universities. In 1998, he was appointed the first black full professor at a white most prestigious university in South Africa. Among multiple awards conferred, Akande received the Commonwealth Academic Fellowship in 1992; the IUPSYS International Award in 1996, and the Frank Andrew UniMICH in 1996. Further, he received the ISPA Award in 2000, a Taiwan Government International Scholar Fellowship in 2005, a Nippon Foundation of Japan Fellowship in 2008, a Fellowship of Schloss Leopoldskron, Austria in 2008, a Certificate of Honor, Indian Institute of Planning and Management, in 2008, and the AAGT-EAGT Award in 2018. He was a co-recipient of the 2007 Ursula Gielen Global Book Award and the Gordon W. Allport Prize (2005) for research on ambivalent sexism. Akande's major research interests vary but mainly focus on relationships among transnational self-esteem, learning, power, political influence, prejudice. He is also known as a popularizer of cross-cultural studies.  He currently serves as an international director for IR GLOBE in Vancouver and a guest professor to a number of Canadian Universities in British Columbia, Canada.