Movements from the last year: #BlackLivesMatter

The Black Lives Matter movement began in 2013 as a hashtag a year after Trayvon Martin’s death in Florida.
Martin, a 17-year-old black man, was killed in 2012 by George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch captain in Sanford, as he was walking back to the home of his father’s fiancee in Sanford, Florida, after stopping at a store at buy some sandwiches. Zimmerman acknowledged that he shot Martin claiming self-defense, but was acquitted after a media trial.
The movement, whose motto is «Black Lives Matter,» was founded «in response to the acquittal of Trayvon Martin’s killer.»
As the co-founder of the Patrisse Khan-Cullors movement wrote in 2019, the original phrase was written in a letter to the black community by Alicia Garza, a black writer and speaker, who lives in Oakland, California, after Martin’s death. And Khan-Cullors made it a hashtag so that through social media the community could help combat racism against black people around the world.
What started as a social media movement took off after the death of young black Michael Brown in 2014 at the hands of a white policeman. Since then, it grew into an organization that has since expanded not only in the United States, but to Canada and the United Kingdom.
Black Lives Matter’s Mission as an organization is to «eradicate white supremacy» and intervene through local power «in the violence inflicted on black communities by the state and vigilantes.»
The project created by Garza, Khan-Cullors and Opal Tometi – who describe themselves as radical black leaders – has increased its visibility in recent years, but had a new moment of visibility in May 2020 after the death of George Floyd at the hands of a white cop in Minneapolis, who for almost 9 minutes pressed his knee on Floyd’s neck. The responsible officer, Derek Chauvin, was fired and faces charges of involuntary manslaughter and manslaughter.
The movement «helped spark the conversation around police and state violence» against black people, says its website, adding that the movement’s commitment is to «fight together and imagine and create a world free of anti-blackness, where every black person has the social, economic and political power to prosper »
And Floyd’s death sparked mass protests not only in Minneapolis, but in various cities across the United States and around the world calling for more and more to join the initial call: that the lives of black people matter.

Photo by Josh Hild on

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