BLM: Keeping the Fight Alive
Updated: Nov 1, 2020
In 2013, Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, and Opal Tometi came together as Black organizers to form a Black-centered movement called Black Lives Matter. It started with the use of the #BlakLivesMatter social media hashtag after George Zimmerman was acquitted in the murder of Trayvon Martin in 2012. As injustice towards African Americans continued to rise in the “land of the free”, the movement started to gain momentum. After the killing of Michael Brown in Missouri and Eric Garner in New York, the movement started to gain nationwide attention.
Black Lives Matter has since become established as a worldwide movement. The death of George Floyd at the hands of police in Minneapolis, Minnesota showed just how impactful and organized the movement is. The Black Lives Matter movement has coordinated demonstrations across the world against police brutality and systematic racism which has been largely targeted at the black community.
Black Lives Matter Foundation, Inc., according to its organizers, is a global organization in the United States, United Kingdom and Canada. They state that their mission is to “eradicate white supremacy and build local power to intervene in violence inflicted on Black communities by the state and vigilantes.” They believe that “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."
The movement has grown from being solely fueled by black people to gaining allies among the youth of various races. It has been reported by A Kaiser Family Foundation June tracking poll that 52 percent of those who have attended #BlackLivesMatter protest in the last three months were between the ages of 18 and 29.
The work of the Black Lives Matter Movement has resulted in racism becoming a major electoral issue for young people. A survey conducted by CNN in June revealed that 75 percent of voters between the ages of 18 to 34 in the United States of America believe that race relations will be extremely important or very important to their decision in the presidential election in November of this year.
As the Black Lives Matter movement continues to stand against injustice and police brutality, we can look forward to seeing some real change in this world or at least action towards change.
To gain more interest in the Black Lives Matter movement, its organizers will have to continue using the methods of engagement that it had used in the beginning. The movement laid its foundation with digital marketing. If it is to reach into the future and sustain interest, it must continue to use digital marketing to engage young people. It has been reported that more than 3 billion people around the world have active social media pages. If BLM organizers create more engaging digital campaigns to engage not just black people but the world, they can garner huge support.
The movement must also continue to teach. It has been said that our people die because of a lack of knowledge. There are many black people in and outside of the United States of America who does not understand at an intellectual level the impacts of the systematic oppression that African Americans face on a day to day basis in every corridor of life in the US. The movement must become more engaged in teaching people about the depth of the impact that the systematic trends in America have had, are having and will have on black people and other minority groups.
When George Floyd was murdered by employees of the police force, the entire world was turned upside down. The response from our people and what was organized by the Black Lives Matter movement was impactful; however, the movement must continue to promote peaceful protesting. This point is mentioned because many have reported that opinion has been changing on the Black Lives Matter movement because of how violent things got after the killing of George Floyd.
The violent or peaceful protesting of the murder of George Floyd is truly a controversial subject; however, there was a video floating around on social media where an angered young man was expressing his desire to destroy things and to hurt people to vindicate his people. The video then showed as a slightly older man was emotionally trying to convince the young man that the burning, the looting, and all other violent tactics are ineffective. As the man counselled the young protestor, he shared that black people have been responding violently for years and it still has not yet made any real change. This video was truly thought-provoking.
For the Black Lives Matter movement to be sustained, there needs to be an innovative way to effect change. The answer is not yet here, but if there is some amount of injustice and then the gathering of our people result in violent activity, there may be a brief movement of surface changes to appease our anger, but no real change will come.
The power of black minds must unite so that we can overthrow the monstrous thinking that has been oppressing our people for so long.