The culture of protests everywhere often seeks philosophical legitimacy via the thoughts of revered figures who are known to have been intimately connected with what is at hand.
Black protest in America has a long history from slave rebellions in households and plantations of privileged white families. For those who march in the streets today, the memory of how long the resistance has come is a source of pride.
Black thinker after thinker has moved to remind White America of the most fundamental principle enshrined at the beginning of the American experiment: a self-evident truth that all are created equal.
Interestingly, the polite and privileged class has never failed to co-opt and re-interpret the lessons of these thinkers. This is done, usually to calm down what is thought to be radical demands on the part of protesters.
On this note, we tried to imagine what some of the famous names in civil rights in history would offer on current Black Lives Matter protests. Interpretations are incumbent on the reader.