The Black Lives Matter Movement Concept

Black Lives Matter Movement

1.0 Introduction

Black Lives Matter is a social justice movement that started in the United States and has now spread worldwide. The movement’s focus is to advocate for racial justice among African Americans and other black persons. The movement involves using social media, especially tweeter, to champion reforms in various agencies discriminating against blacks. From its inception as a hashtag, the Black Lives Matter movement has grown in size and impact. The movement’s influence is seen through the successfully organized protests both online and in various cities in North America and across the globe. The Black Lives Matter movement has significantly expanded from the initial response to police brutality against blacks to all social injustices that affect black people, including the right to education, neighbourhoods, and healthcare and social relations. This paper analyzes this subject and has been structured into three sections, historical background, current issues, and personal reflections.

2.0 Section 1: Historical Background

The Black Lives Matter movements’ historical background has a basis on the deaths of African American men. Three deaths of African American men killed by the police due to their skin colour are responsible for the Black Lives Matter movement. The first incident involves the shooting of a 17-year-old African American called Trayvon Martin. On February 26, 2012, Zimmerman, a 28-year-old mixed Hispanic man, shot Martin. George Zimmerman was the area watch coordinator for a gated estate (Cohn & Quealy, 2020). As he did his work of watching community estate, he spotted Martin walking in the area and notified the police. He approached Martin. An altercation broke out between the two, and Zimmerman shot Martin.

The court of Law later charged Zimmerman for second-degree murder. However, the case outcome changed after he was found not guilty in 2013 (Jones, 2019). The two incidences (shooting of the Martin and the court’s verdict) did not go well with many African American communities. The court’s outcomes that acquitted Zimmerman led Patrisse Cullors to create a Facebook hashtag in response to Garza’s post about the event. In the post, she put the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter (Clayton, 2018). This post became the beginning of the movement. Patrisse Cullors collaborated with Alicia Garza and Opal Tometi to advocate for the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter campaign. At this point, the movement started at the grassroots level.

At this time, the Black Lives Matter movement was popular only in Oakland’s local grassroots community. However, it received little recognition until other incidences followed. The deaths of both Eric Garner and Michael Brown gave the movement a new life. Eric Garner became the next incidence of giving life to the Black Lives Matter movement. Graner was choked to death on July 17, 2014. Eric Garner, the then middle-aged African American and father to six children, lost his life to choking. Daniel Pantaleo, a middle-aged Caucasian policeman, suffocated Garner to death at the Staten Island. The incident happened after the police approached Garner. The police suspected that he was selling unarmed cigarettes (Mineo, 2015). Garner had received this type of charge many times before the incident. Garner refused to surrender for arrest. After refusing to be handcuffed and was uncooperative, Pantaleo went ahead to subject Garner to a chokehold from behind. The NYPD prohibits this practice in their policing codes and regulations. The police wrestled with him until they put him on the ground. The police handcuffed him and compressed his chest on the floor. He complained of having the challenge to breathe, but the police turned a deaf ear. A few minutes later, he passed out. The ambulance came to pick him up but did not perform the CPR protocols. On reaching the hospital, he was confirmed dead. The incident that further fueled the Black Lives Matter was how the jury handled the case in court. The jury on December 3, 2014, failed to indict Pantaleo for his responsibility for the murder. The incidence’ videos were captured on mobile and released to social media (Serwer, 2020). The video’s release on social media platforms led to a fresh breakout of protests in the country. These protests gave the Black Lives Matter more strength. More people learned about the actions of the police and the courts. As a result, people started to flock into the streets to protest against racially instigated police brutality and its impacts on the black community. The protestors’ focus was to have the issues become popular and raise the consciousness of Americans about racial discrimination practices that then was popular among the police.

As protests went on and Black Lives Movement began taking shape, another third incident happened. This third incident was the final blow leading to protests under the hashtag Black Lives Matter. This event was Michael Brown’s shooting that occurred on August 9, 2014. This incidence was timely for the movement since t happened less than a month after Pantaleo choked Eric Garner to death (Swaine, 2016). Unarmed, 18-year-old Michael Brown lost his life after Darren Wilson shot him at Ferguson, Missouri. Brown had stolen some merchandise at a corner convenience. Brown and a friend confronted the police, and an argument broke out between the two. Brown fled, but Wilson pursued after him and the friend to the point that he caught up with Brown. Unarmed, Brown stopped and turned, facing Wilson. It is at this point that Wilson shot Brown leading to his death. The death of Brown led to violent riots in Ferguson labelled as the Ferguson unrest. The case went to the grand jury (Gottbrath, 2020). However, based on the evidence that St. Louis County Police prepared, which was presented, the jury did not indict Wilson. The combined death of these three individuals added life to the Black Lives Matter movement. After these incidences, thousands of protestors protested against police brutality against the blacks in the United States.

3.0 Section 2: Current Issues on Black Lives Matter Movement

The Black Lives Matter movement did not stop with the protests against police brutality. Instead, the BLM movement changed in scope to handle critical issues affecting the black people in the United States. One of BLM’s key arguments is that this movement is meant to do more than critic the police (Alvin, 2019). This movement has evolved to become a human rights movement instead of focusing on African Americans’ civil rights. The Black Lives Matter movement continuous to champion the rights and privileges of African Americans as a minority race in North America. The movement continues to push for reforms in the criminal justice system. The movement supporters have increasingly acknowledged the need for a fundamental reordering of American society. This process helps African Americans find their freedom from systematic dehumanization (Jones, 2019). In the present times, the movement’s political and legal impacts are seen. More people in the United States have become conscious of discrimination that black people face in the majority white society.

Various black liberation organizations continue to rally behind the Black Lives Matter movement citing more reforms. This movement has been empowered by a wide range of Black liberation organizations and groups. Groups such as the Dream Defenders, Black Youth Project 100, St. Louis Action council, Assata’s Daughters, and Millennial Activists are just a few among those that continue to rally for change. Collectively, from the onset of the movement to this day, these groups have collaborated to bring significant changes in the United States and other parts of the world. Some of the current achievements that have been made include the successful push for ousting of high-profile corrupt prosecutors. For instance, groups including Assata’s Daughters and BYP100 led Anita Alvarez, who failed to charge police officers who shot several people to death to lose being re-elected as the prosecutor for the Cook County. Other groups in Florida, such as the Dream Defenders, advocated and pushed for the end of Angela Corey’s reign as an attorney for the state (Mineo, 2015). Corey was infamous for her failure to convict George Zimmerman Martin’s killer. On the contrary, she prosecuted Marissa Alexander, an African American woman who did not hurt or kill anyone after firing a warning shot targeting her abusive ex-husband. These are just part of the work in progress for the Black Lives Movement.

One current issue in the US has been the continued twist to the Black Lives Movement in United States. This view is standard among people who have raised concerns that the Black Lives Movement is an anti-white movement. Sharp debates have been raised and continue to happen that the movement is not a good course. Some feel that the BLM movement is a form of revenge against the racial prejudices that historically have occurred in the United States (Swaine, 2016). The twisting of the movement to appear as if s an anti-white movement is unfortunate. Many Black Lives Movement’ supporters have distanced themselves from the idea that the movement has an anti-white agenda. The idea of departing from the main agenda of the movement to picking other unnecessary issues has raised sharp tensions in the country. Those of this view argue that all lives matter, and indeed, this should be true (Serwer, 2020). However, proposers and supporters of the movement have argued that the focus of their movement is to address key racial discrimination issues black people have faced before. They have reinstated that the focus of the movement was to unearth some of the racial injustices against the black people that criminal justice should fix. On this basis, Black Lives Matter focuses on pushing for the freedoms of black people from systematic discrimination.

4.0 Section 3: Conclusion & Reflection

In conclusion, conducting this research has significantly enriched my perspective on the Black Lives Movement. Before conducting this research, I had listened to a few debates on the movement, and I felt al little confused about some of the issues raised. For instance, after watching one of the debates on this subjected hosted at CNBC television, felt convinced that the movement was more of an anti-white movement. The hashtag’s name was also a little disturbing, for it was not inclusive of other minority groups that have equally suffered because of the systematic racial discrimination in the US criminal justice system.

However, after conducting this research, I learned a few things I did not know. The item that moved my heart more was the killings of African Americans by the police. I was saddened by some of the mentioned white police officers who killed unarmed African American men on purpose. I was saddened by many other incidences where African Americans were discriminated against because of their colour. This research enabled me to understand that Black Lives Matter is timely.

One of the contributions I am inspired to make on this subject is joining other Black Lives Matter in writing about this subject. This subject is quite an interesting subject to the white people but to the whites as well. I want to support its course by developing a blog page to voice out concerns affecting black people. In the blog, I will raise some of the conversations I believe are needed


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