Essay on the Black Lives Matter Movement


Essay on the Black Lives Matter Movement

Black Lives Matter Movement

Black lives matter movement was created in response to the massive killings of unarmed African Americans in the United States. In May 2020, George Floyd was killed in Minneapolis during an arrest. Based on the video shared online, it was evident that Floyd had been murdered despite that he had surrendered and was unarmed. During this period, 15-26 million participated in this movement rendering Black Lives Matter the largest faction in history. There are ongoing protests on the killing of Breonna Taylor, whose case is yet to be addressed. In recent years the black lives matter movement was considered divisive and confrontational. However, it has gained popularity based on its influence on changing the lives and circumstances of the minority.

This movement is a force that transcends any traditional hierarchical model. Based on Lebron (2017), the black live matter drive is not identified with any individual or group of leaders. It is an ideal representation of the peoples' will to demand change, equality, progress and humanity. It is a social movement that can be used by any interested parties as they speak against racial injustice in the country. Moreover, the black lives matter movement has gained influence and popularity since it is not restricted to only racial injustice. It encompasses aspects related to criminal, environmental and black political enlightenment. 

Background

Black lives matter is a movement that advocates civil disobedience against racially motivated violence targeted against black individuals in the country. This campaign began in 2013 after George Zimmerman, who shot and killed Taryvon Martin in Florida, was acquitted of all charges. Taryvom Martin, a seventeen-year-old, had just returned from buying iced tea and sweets when he was shot. Mr. Zimmerman stated that he shot the boy because he looked suspicious. The acquittal triggered an outrage across the country, and a Facebook post dubbed "Black Lives Matter" motivated people to take action (Thomas, 2020). The movement attained national recognition for street protests after the death of Michael Brown and Eric Garner in 2014. Over the years, the campaign has gained prominence based on their involvement in issues that directly affect citizens' lives. This was evident when they participated in the 2016 US presidential elections. The inventors of the black lives matter hashtag have expanded this program into a national network with thirty local chapters between 2014 and 2016. Hence, despite that, it has initial originators of the hashtag; the movement is a decentralized network.

Evolution of the Black Lives Matter Movement

The black community has been subject to discrimination and torture for the longest time. Slavery was a practice that facilitated the ownership of black people and control of black lives under political leadership that authorized this form of control (Lebron, 2017). Black lives matter has triggered global discussions on racial injustice in every part of the world. In the United States, this campaign has had an integral influence in promoting knowledge and motivating the black community to fight for their rights non-violently. This platform has provided an opportunity for the marginalized to voice their concerns without fear.

Additionally, it has become evident that using persuasion cannot be conducted in isolation if the country needs change. Black lives matter movement is considered counter-public since it has successfully attracted global attention by forcing its message on the public. Over the years, contemporary news outlets focused on the violence rather than the demands. The evolution of the black lives matter has focused on other platforms that will be instrumental in their fight against oppression. Social media has been a powerful tool in propagating the message shared by the Black lives Matter movement. The hashtag "black lives matter" on all the social media platforms generates the attention needed to trigger the conversation on injustice against the black community (Taylor, 2016). Based on Maultsby (2018), this drive has used music to represent the group and personal expressions as they organize peaceful protests. Amid meagre financial resources and community seclusion, creative expressions such as R&B, hip hop, SLAB car culture have been used to confront all the social injustices.

Further, these contemporary measures have also been integral in promoting political and social activism. These protest tactics have made it difficult to ignore these issues presented in the movement. For instance, confronting the police by "looking back" is symbolic. It represents the refusal to succumb to police intimidation. Historically, making eye contact with the police was considered unacceptable. However, with the presence of the black lives matter initiative, people have become more courageous in the face of adversity and discrimination. 

Source of Hope

Protests have always been used to attract the attention of government agencies in addressing issues affecting the citizens. The black lives matter movement has been intentional about the tactics employed in their operations. The ability to disrupt the status quo is based on this movement's ability to get the attention of relevant authorities. In this case, mass protests and eliminating racist monuments align with the action plan that demands changes, legislative changes and policy reforms. Over the years, most individuals have had their issues addressed due to the attention sparked by the black lives matter initiative. The black lives matter initiative will continue to be instrumental in providing the change needed in the US.

References

Lebron, C. J. (2017). The making of black lives matter: A brief history of an idea. Oxford University Press.

Maultsby, P. K. (2018). Black lives matter and music: Protest, intervention, reflection. Indiana University Press.

Taylor, K. Y. (2016). From# BlackLivesMatter to black liberation. Haymarket Books.

Thomas, R. L. (2020). #BlackLivesMatter: Protesting racism.

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Published on: 20 Aug 2020

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