But it was Garza and her fellow activists, Opal Tometi and Patrisse Cullors, who helped popularize the phrase as a hashtag on Twitter and Tumblr one year earlier. For Lowery, although BLM protests originated with the recent police killings in the United States—his book takes its title from a sign spotted in Ferguson—he also wants us to recognize that the politics animating these protests have long been around. A period of optimism born out of a spectacular political moment—the Emancipation Proclamation; Reconstruction; the civil-rights movement of the s—is then followed by a period of reaction and retrenchment.
Public Domain" In the article below, Syracuse University historian Herbert Ruffin explores the rapid rise of the Black Lives Matter Movement as the most recent development in the ongoing struggle for racial and social justice in the United States. In the summer ofthree community organizers Alicia Garza, a domestic worker rights organizer in Oakland, California ; Patrisse Cullors, an anti-police violence organizer in Los Angeles, California; and Opal Tometi, an immigration rights organizer in Phoenix, Arizonafounded the Black Lives Matter movement in cyberspace as a sociopolitical media forum, giving it the hashtag BlackLivesMatter.
Unlike most other groups who organized courthouse demonstrations, Black Lives Matter immediately recognized the value of social media in developing a political agenda and mobilizing for action beyond petitioning for justice through mediums like Change. Using Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr, they created a movement unlike most black freedom campaigns that preceded them.
Unlike SNCC, but similar to Black Youth Project in Chicago, IllinoisBlack Lives Matter incorporated those on margins of traditional black freedom movements, including women, the working poor, the disabled, undocumented immigrants, atheists and agnostics, and those who identify as queer and transgender.
These marginalized black people played visible and central roles in the formation of Black Lives Matter and in their ongoing community organizing and protests. Here they participated in the non-violent demonstrations for justice in the wake of eighteen-year-old Michael Brown who had been murdered at the hand of police officer Darren Wilson.
The number of cities represented reflected the rapid spread of the organization in just one year. Like other protesters, Black Lives Matter members were angered not simply by the shooting of an unarmed African American but also because his body was allowed to lie in the street for four hours before it was eventually taken to the city morgue, an event that was well documented by bystanders with cell phones and distributed within minutes around the world via Twitter and Facebook.
This instant exposure generated months of sometimes peaceful and sometimes violent protests which involved Ferguson residents at first but eventually drew tens of thousands of people from across the United States. Moreover, with the creation of a webpage independent of corporate media control, their use of Twitter and Facebook to organize, and online conference calls to plan strategy, Black Lives Matter became a model for how black liberations groups in the twenty-first century can organize an effective freedom rights campaign.
This framework has been used to transform Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The effective melding of technology and womanist politics generated rapid organizational growth.
Just as Black Lives Matter move from hashtag to the streets of Ferguson in had taken the movement to a new phase, the Baltimore rebellion of ignited a global movement where black cyber activists in EuropeAfrica, the Caribbeanand Latin America drew inspiration from and modeled their efforts on both the Black Lives Matter and the Arab Spring campaigns where North African and Middle Eastern women and young cyber activists toppled longstanding dictatorships in TunisiaEgyptLibyaand Yemen.
Between August and AugustBlack Lives Matter chapters around the world have organized more than nine hundred and fifty protest demonstrations. Their call for social justice has ranged from targeting well-known police-involved deaths such as the Eric Garner strangulation in Staten Island, New York, on July 17,and lesser known cases involving the killing of homosexual and heterosexual black women and children such as twelve-year-old Tamir Rice in Cleveland on November 22, Partly as a result of the public outcry organized and promoted by Black Lives Matter, the U.
On December 18,the U. On April 4,Walter L.
Scott was shot in the back while fleeing from Officer Michael T. Slager, a policeman from North Charleston, South Carolina. She later died under mysterious circumstances in the Waller County Jail.
Besides the race of each victim, all these incidents shared the rapid dissemination of video at the time of their encounters with law enforcement officers which led many viewers to question the tactics and in some cases the legality of police action. Black Lives Matter played a major role in alerting people about these incidents and spurring them to take action.
As a consequence, millions of people are now aware of the ongoing impact of police brutality on black lives. On November 28,Black Lives Matter adopted a new protest tactic that soon gained national attention.
These organizations used the busiest shopping day of the year to remind shoppers and larger communities that the issues of police brutality, access to proper health care, housing discrimination, poor education, immigration reform, racial disparities in median wealth, and the prison industrial complex had to be addressed by the entire nation.
These demonstrations, as with all Black Lives Matter protests, were intentionally provocative in order to draw attention to issues that were continually ignored by most non-black people. In the same month, Essence magazine became the first major black American publication to profile the movement.
What We Must Do Now. By the summer ofBlack Lives Matter had initiated another new tactic, publicly challenging politicians, including presidential candidates, to state their positions on Black Lives Matter issues and how their policies will lead to the improvement of black communities.A review of polling data from the s paints a picture of an America in which the majority of people felt such protest actions would hurt, not help, African Americans’ fight for equality.
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$1. African-American history matters because black lives matter." The Republican Party Platform does not mention the Black Lives Matter movement.
in this country. That the social justice, human rights, and the movement for pro-democracy are all inter-related.
In fact, they are part of the broader human rights framework. What we call. Oct 26, · The Black Lives Matter movement has done some things very well and having a national and international reach much wider than the Black Panther Party had by the end of year two.
There are now over 26 Black Lives Matter chapters across the United States. From one heartfelt Facebook post, it has spawned a new civil rights movement. Black America is in a state of protest.
The Black Lives Matter movement has put the political establishment on the defensive, forcing the highest ranks of government to respond with promises of change.