But leaders here say that is the nature of a movement that has taken place, in part, on social media and that does not match an earlier-era protest structure where a single, outspoken leader might have led the way. “This is not your momma’s civil rights movement,” said Ashley Yates, a leader of Millennial Activists United. “This is a movement where you have several difference voices, different people. The person in charge is really — the people. But the message from everyone is the same: Stop killing us.”
At times, there has been a split between national civil rights leaders and the younger leaders on the ground here, who see their efforts as more immediate, less passive than an older generation’s. But some here said relations have improved in recent weeks.
Some of the national leaders met with President Obama on Nov. 5 for a gathering that included a conversation about Ferguson.
According to the Rev. Al Sharpton, who has appeared frequently in St. Louis with the Brown family and delivered a speech at Mr. Brown’s funeral, Mr. Obama “was concerned about Ferguson staying on course in terms of pursuing what it was that he knew we were advocating. He said he hopes that we’re doing all we can to keep peace.”