The history and impact of the Black Lives Matter movement

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Introduction

The recent protests of ‘Black Lives Matter’ had reached the peak specifically in the year 2013with three distinct ‘black female organizers’, namely, Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, as well as Opal Tometi, who had “created a Black-centered political will and movement building project called Black Lives Matter. Black Lives Matter began with a social media hashtag, #BlackLivesMatter, after the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin back in 2012” (Howard University, 2018). The unfair and unjust shooting that had taken place was the trigger point, which had instigated the wrath of Black lives distinctively. It is important to add more facts to the matter, which can be considered by suggesting that the movement had developed on the national level in the year 2014 post the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner in Missouri and New York respectively. Since then it is found to have been a movement taking place on a worldwide scale, particularly after George Floyd was killed in a police attack in Minneapolis, Besides, #Black LivesMatter has demonstrated protests posed against police brutality, as well as systematic racism globally, which had further created a negative impact on the Black community. It had been officially demonstrated on the Black Lives Matter website, that the movement was “founded in 2013 in response to the acquittal of Trayvon Martin’s murderer. Black Lives Matter Foundation, Inc is a global organization in the US, UK, and Canada, whose mission is to eradicate white supremacy and build local power to intervene in violence inflicted on Black communities by the state and vigilantes. By combating and countering acts of violence, creating space for Black imagination and innovation, and centering Black joy, we are winning immediate improvements in our lives” (Howard University, 2018). The importance and role of the Black Lives Matter movement can be inferred from the point that it contributed to shaping the American society of the present scenario.

Discussion

What is Black Lives Matter and Its Difference in Comparison to Other Protests

‘Blacks Live Matter’ is considered to be a phrase, and an important hashtag, which is particularly used to reflect the revolt posed against discrimination, racism, as well as inequality and has been thoroughly experienced by the black people with the unfair shooting of George Floyd (17 years teen) in the year 2020 while he was completely unarmed. Moreover, “support grew following other police killings, including Eric Garner, who died in a chokehold, and Michael Brown, who was killed by an officer who said he acted in self-defence. In the summer of 2020 George Floyd, an unarmed black man, was murdered by a police officer who knelt on his neck” (Campbell, 2021). This offers a precise understanding of the reasons behind the movement or protests that have been initiated by Black people against the unjust policies and norms being practiced in the American society, especially where shooting and killing an unarmed teen could go unquestioned.

The reason behind highlighting this particular movement as different is the extraordinary scale of people, who rebelled against the unjust killing of a 17-year-old unarmed teen. Precisely, if the reports are properly examined, it would reveal that “on June 6, for example, at least 50,000 people turned out in Philadelphia, 20,000 in Chicago’s Union Park and up to 10,000 on the Golden Gate Bridge, according to estimates by Edwin Chow, an associate professor at Texas State University, and researchers at the Crowd Counting Consortium” (Buchanan, Bui & Patel, 2020). This contributes to explaining that the numbers of protestors involved in this particular movement were enough to shake the existing operations of American society, which majorly sided with the Whites and discriminated against the Blacks based on color.

The Movement’s Present Condition

This movement is considered or has been claimed as the largest ‘civil movement’ that had taken place in the US to date. It has marked the pages of US history with an idea of the nature of the revolting Blacks when they are on a quest for seeking justice against a teen, who was shot to death for no reason. It is true, that the messaging campaign in the name of ‘Blacks Live Matter’ had started in 2013 by three female Black distinct organizers but had spread like fire on social media only after the illogical and unfair killing of George Floyd had taken place. Therefore, it is important to suggest that “in the wake of the 2020 mass protests against racism after George Floyd’s murder, many Republican-led states proposed a new wave of draconian anti-protest laws to stifle dissent. This suggests that BLM might be more resilient if it followed the starfish approach” (Konadu & Gyamfi, 2021). This, in particular, implies the present conditions of Black Lives Matter that is evidenced in the modern scenario as well.

Conclusion

‘Black Lives Matter’ had been started as a messaging campaign in 2013 by three Black female organizers to protest the shooting of Trayvon Martin in the year 2012 but then it gained immense strong grounds after George Floyd’s death in 2020. It appeared as the largest ‘civil movement’ that could have occurred in US history. Thus, it can be suggested that this particular movement was indeed a noteworthy one, which kept on discriminating the Blacks and Whites in particular.

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  1. Buchanan, L. Bui, Q. & Patel, J.K. (2020). Black lives matter may be the largest movement in U.S. history. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/07/03/us/george-floyd-protests-crowd-size.html
  2. Campbell, A. (2021). What is black lives matter and what are the aims? Retrieved from https://www.bbc.com/news/explainers-53337780
  3. Howard University (2018). Black lives matter movement. Retrieved from https://library.law.howard.edu/civilrightshistory/BLM
  4. Konadu, K. & Gyamfi, B. (2021). Black lives matter: How far has the movement come? Retrieved from https://theconversation.com/black-lives-matter-how-far-has-the-movement-come-165492
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