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Written by Lauren Dick
Soon after the death of Trayvon Martin in 2012, three female activists, Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors and Opal Tometi began a viral Twitter hashtag to represent “an affirmation of Black folks’ contributions to this society, our [Black folks’] humanity, and our [Black folks’] resilience in the face of deadly oppression.” (Garza, 2014) They saw '#BlackLivesMatter' as a way to highlight how society systematically and intentionally targets Black people to their demise (Garza, 2014).
This campaign has been considered to launch the “New Civil Rights Movement” (Deetz et al., 2015, p. 4) to emphasize the past and present racial discrimination in the United States. The slave codes that originally divided their citizens into the powerful and the powerless remain embedded in modern American national laws.
While this movement began in the popular social media platform, Twitter, it did not restrict its ‘real-world’ reach for long. One of the co-founders, Patrisse Cullors, led and formed the Black Lives Matter ride with Darnell L. Moore to make the movement alive in society. This campaign has grown in scope to the extent that it has inspired adaptations to include various groups: women's lives matter, brown lives matter, migrant lives matter, etc. (Garza, 2014).
This campaign continues to impact national and global views of treatment towards fellow humans. Three years after the inception of the movement, President Obama of the United States of America addresses and supports this movement, saying “there is a specific problem that is happening in the African American community [in the United States of America] that’s not happening in other communities. And that is a legitimate issue that we’ve got to address…The African American community is not just making this up.” (McCarthy, 2015)
With modern technology it is now possible to reach and connect nationally and globally with ease. Voices are no longer being unheard due to the accessibility of social media platforms, blogs, news stations, etc. Black Lives Matter has, and will continue to alter and influence new political and social policies (Friedersdorf, 2015), but its rapid and large impact has only been made possible by the inclusion of information communication technologies (ICTs).
If you wish to see any of the information within the sources referred to above, please look below.
Deetz, K., Chapman, E., Edwards, A., & Wilayto, P. (2015). African Diaspora Archaeology Newsletter. Retrieved November 9, 2015, from http://scholarworks.umass.edu/adan/vol15/iss1/1/utm_source=scholarworks.umass.edu%2Fadan%2Fvol15%2Fiss1%2F1&utm_medi um=PDF&utm_campaign=PDFCoverPages
Friedersdorf, C. (2015, September 24). Will Black Lives Matter Be a Movement That Persuades? Retrieved November 11, 2015, from http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2015/09/will-black-lives-matter-be-a-movement-that-persuades/407017/
Garza, A. (2014, October 7). A Herstory of the #BlackLivesMatter Movement. Retrieved November 9, 2015, from http://collectiveliberation.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/Garza_Herstory_of_the_BlackLivesMatter_Movement.pdf
Leggio, T. (n.d.). 2014 saw civil rights protest sweep the nation under the banner Black Lives Matter. [photograph]. http://www.commondreams.org/news/2015/03/20/black-america-crisis-report-shows-troubling-racial-disparities-across-us
McCarthy, C. (2015, October 22). Obama praises Black Lives Matter movement for raising policing issues. Retrieved November 8, 2015, from http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/oct/22/obama-black-lives-matter-movement-policing
Michael Brown Memorial. (n.d.). A memorial to Michael Brown. [photograph]. http://www.dailyemerald.com/2015/09/18/interesting-courses-to-look-out-for-over-the-next-year/
Stafford, S. (n.d.). [photograph]. http://www.policylink.org/blog/black-lives-matter-movement