The Black Lives Matter Movement spread across the country and world as more and more unarmed black men are shot down by police. It recognizes that the lives of black people are just as important as any other group of people. This article highlights its purpose and why many Americans have difficulty understanding what it means to be black in America.
One wonders when the three ladies above coined the “Black Lives Matter” phrase, if they ever believed it would become a worldwide movement. Well . . . it did. The effort grew out of the senseless, unlawful and racist murder of Trayvon Martin, a young man walking in his neighborhood and was shot by George Zimmerman. To add to the horror, Zimmerman was not convicted of the murder. This act took many African Americans back to the Emmett Till case in 1964 when that 14-year-old was brutally and painfully murdered by two white men because he supposedly “wolf-whistled” at a white woman; a jury freed them also. Hundreds, if not thousands of African American men have lost their lives since then, but 39 years later … in 2013, these three women had had enough. They knew if the culture of America did not seem to think black lives mattered, they did.
CO-FOUNDERS OF THE MOVEMENT
Wears several hats, is an artist, organizer, and freedom fighter from Los Angeles, CA. She is also Co-founder of Black Lives Matter. Additionally, Khan-Cullors is a public speaker, New York Times Best Selling Author and Fulbright scholar. Her skill-sets are highly appreciated and are viewed as serving the betterment of mankind.
Oakland-based organizer, writer, public speaker, and freedom dreamer.
Freedom for one means freedom for all.
Garza is a Co- Founder of Black Lives Matter.
Opal Tometi is a leading voice for dignity and fairness for millions of domestic workers in America.
She is a New York-based Nigerian-American writer, strategist, and community organizer. Of the three co-founders, Tometi is credited with creating the online platforms and initiating the social media strategy during the early days of Black Lives Matter. Her vision and strong appetite for criminal justice reform, will set America on the pathway to equality for all.
THE MISSION OF BLACK LIVES MATTER
The mission of Black Lives Matter is “to eradicate white supremacy and build local power to intervene in violence inflicted on Black communities by the state and vigilantes.”
WHO ARE THEY . . . THEY SAY THEY ARE:
Expansive. In their words, they are a collective of liberators who believe in an inclusive and spacious movement. We also believe that in order to win and bring as many people with (them) along the way, they must move beyond the narrow nationalism that is all too prevalent in Black communities.
Affirmative: The lives of Black queer and trans(gender) folks, disabled folks, undocumented folks, folks with records, women, and all Black lives along the gender spectrum matter. Their network centers those who have been marginalized within Black liberation movements.
Working for a world where Black lives are no longer systematically targeted for demise.
Humane: Humanity is affirmed with contributions to society, and resilience in the face of deadly oppression. Join the movement!
Black Lives Matter is a social and political movement that highlights basic rights and racial equality for black people. It includes eradicating all forms of racism.
Systemic racism has shown blacks that their lives do not matter for 400 years. There are times in American history when the government sought to establish blacks as citizens who deserved the same rights as whites. The Reconstruction Period (1865 – 1877) was such a time. However, during those twelve years, white supremacy loomed large, and the government caved in and allowed the culture to target blacks. Slave-like tactics, lynchings, Jim Crow laws erased any progress made at that time. Lies that distorted history, portrayed blacks as violent, lazy and ignorant became the norm, and exist in the minds of many Americans today.
THE HISTORY OF AMERICA
History reveals the white race as the most violent race in America. It is this race who took land from the American Indian, murdered them in their homes and labeled them as “savages.” It enslaved millions of black people, murdered and lynched them when they fought for their identity, and established policies, laws and an economic culture that empowers white people at the expense of others.
To exacerbate the situation, many have tried to erase history to present themselves in a more favorable light. The way to make such a presentation, is to do as many are doing today . . . become a “shining light!.” History cannot be undone, but the present can be . . . .
BLACK LIVES MATTER IS ALL LIVES
The next 143 years after Reconstruction, even though progress has been made toward racial equality, have perpetuated such nonsense and discrimination. Consequently, the Black Lives Movement became a necessity. The movement has garnered support from all races, including numerous whites, and once again, racial equality is a “topic of discussion.” Let’s see where it leads . . .