As protests intensified after the police shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., three years ago, DeRay Mckesson had a thought familiar to many civil rights activists over the years.
“I remember being in the streets of Ferguson in the earliest days, we just knew the NAACP was going to come in for us,” the Baltimore-based activist said.
“And then it didn’t happen. Many of us realized we had to be the people that had to fight for us.”
Mckesson would emerge from those protests as a leader of the Black Lives Matter movement — which itself would emerge as a major voice in the struggle for racial justice. The NAACP did play a role — just one removed from the chaotic,...