Group of civil rights era activists endorse the Movement for Black Lives policy platform

Founding SNCC and Taking on Mississippi - Bob Moses on Reality Asserts Itself (4/8)

A group of civil rights era activists have passed the torch to a younger generation, so to speak.

One week after the Movement for Black Lives released a wide-ranging, and long-awaited, policy platform, the activists' vision for change has also earned an endorsement from delegates of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, a famed student organizing group that formed in the 1960s.

In a letter signed by more than 67 former SNCC members, the activists, under the umbrella of the SNCC Legacy Project, wrote that "we of yesterday's SNCC say to today's #BlackLivesMatter, 'Ya'll take it from here!'"

"With their protests and demands, the Movement for Black Lives is continuing to exercise their rights, guaranteed to all Americans under the First Amendment of the United States Constitution," the letter continues. "We, the still-active radicals who were SNCC, salute today's Movement for Black Lives, for taking hold of the torch to continue to light this flame for a knowingly forgetful world."

Most iconic photos of Black Lives Matter movement since Ferguson:

Most iconic photos of Black Lives Matter movement since Ferguson
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Most iconic photos of Black Lives Matter movement since Ferguson
FERGUSON, MO - AUGUST 17: Tear gas rains down on a woman kneeling in the street with her hands in the air after a demonstration over the killing of teenager Michael Brown by a Ferguson police officer on August 17, 2014 in Ferguson, Missouri. Despite the Brown family's continued call for peaceful demonstrations, violent protests have erupted nearly every night in Ferguson since his August 9, death. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
A demonstrator protesting the shooting death of Alton Sterling is detained by law enforcement near the headquarters of the Baton Rouge Police Department in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, U.S. July 9, 2016. REUTERS/Jonathan Bachman TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
FERGUSON, MO - AUGUST 11: Police force protestors from the business district into nearby neighborhoods on August 11, 2014 in Ferguson, Missouri. Police responded with tear gas and rubber bullets as residents and their supporters protested the shooting by police of an unarmed black teenager named Michael Brown who was killed Saturday in this suburban St. Louis community. Yesterday 32 arrests were made after protests turned into rioting and looting in Ferguson. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
ST LOUIS, MO - OCTOBER 12: A demonstrator protesting the killings of 18-year-olds Michael Brown by a Ferguson, Missouri Police officer and Vonderrit Myers Jr. by an off duty St. Louis police officer gets help after being maced by police on October 12, 2014 in St Louis, Missouri. The St. Louis area has been struggling to heal since riots erupted in suburban Ferguson following Brown's death. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - DECEMBER 3: A demonstrator cries while gathering in Philadelphia to protest the Eric Garner grand jury decision during a Christmas Tree lighting ceremony at City Hall December 3, 2014 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Organizers called for the demonstration after a grand jury in the Staten Island borough of New York City declined to indict the police officer who used a chokehold on Garner, resulting in his death. (Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images)
FERGUSON, MO - NOVEMBER 25: Police confront demonstrators during a protest on November 25, 2014 in Ferguson, Missouri. Yesterday protesting turned into rioting following the grand jury announcement to not indict officer Darren Wilson in the Michael Brown case. Brown, an 18-year-old black man, was killed by Darren Wilson, a white Ferguson police officer, on August 9. At least 12 buildings were torched and more than 50 people were arrested during the night-long rioting. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
BLOOMINGTON, MN - DECEMBER 20: Thousands of protesters from the group 'Black Lives Matter' disrupt holiday shoppers on December 20, 2014 at Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota. (Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images)
A police officer stands over activists, demanding justice for the death of Eric Garner, as they stage a 'die-in' during rush hour at Grand Central Terminal in the Manhattan borough of New York on December 3, 2014. A New York City grand jury on Wednesday returned no indictment against a white police officer who used a chokehold on an unarmed black man who died as police tried to arrest him for illegally selling cigarettes, local media reported. The grand jury in the city's borough of Staten Island decided against criminal charges for New York police officer Daniel Pantaleo in the death of Eric Garner. The deadly encounter on July 17 was captured on a video that quickly spread over the Internet and helped fuel debates about how U.S. police use force, particularly against minorities. REUTERS/Adrees Latif (UNITED STATES - Tags: CIVIL UNREST POLITICS TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY TRANSPORT)
A man protesting the shooting death of Alton Sterling is detained by law enforcement near the headquarters of the Baton Rouge Police Department in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, U.S. July 9, 2016. REUTERS/Jonathan Bachman TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

The letter's signees include Robert "Bob" Moses, the architect behind the civil rights era's famed Freedom Schools, and Berniece Johnson Reagon, founder of the acapella ensemble Sweet Honey in the Rock.

The Movement for Black Lives released its policy platform on Aug. 1. It was collaboratively built over a year of discussions between more than 40 black organizing groups from across the country. At 22 pages long, it includes more than 40 demands, including an end to capital punishment, redistribution of resources from police departments to mental health treatment programs, the right for workers in on-demand tech economies to unionize and divestment from fossil fuels.

SNCC (colloquially pronounced "snick") was a pioneering group of predominantly black activists mostly known for staging lunch counter sit-ins and helping to coordinate 1964's Freedom Summer, which brought dozens of volunteers to rural Mississippi towns to help register black voters. Many of its members would go on to play important roles in American civic life, including former leader Stokely Carmichael (who later adopted the name Kwame Ture) and helped popularize the phrase "black power;" and the late Julian Bond, who would go on to lead the NAACP.

Previous generations of black activists have not always been so kind to the generation that followed them. Rev. Al Sharpton has been sharply critical of the group's "leader full" approach to organizing, which shuns the idea of a traditional movement spokesperson a la Martin Luther King Jr. and the civil rights movement. And former activist Barbara Reynolds penned a critique in the Washington Postin 2015, writing that she supported the modern activists' cause, but "not their approach."

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