About the Black lives matter movement

Black Lives Matter Movement and Its Purpose

After 2013, the black community in the US received a call to action from the Black lives matter campaign. This came after the tragic death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman's conviction. The movement's leaders claim that it is both an ideological and a political intervention in a society where black people's lives are purposefully targeted for destruction. The movement seeks to change a society that has long tolerated the ignorance of black people. The BLM are just beginning to move deeply into the changes that need to happen to bring about legitimate and true civil rights that will result in social change. Therefore black lives matter movement has a purpose; the movement does not mean that other lives do not matter, rather black lives are important to the liberation of other races.

Role of Social Media in Black Lives Matter

According to McClain (2016), the contemporary racial justice movement demands an end to the disproportionate killing of black individuals by law-enforcement officials as well as vigilantes while seeking to root out white supremacy wherever it prevails. Notably, various social media platforms, particularly Twitter, has allowed its members to upload documentary evidence of police abuse while spreading activist information. The main aim of the virtual social interactions is to make sense out of the disheartening news. Twitter as a social media platform, has been key in reflecting and reinforcing the power of the BLM. For instance, when a grand jury reached a decision to charge an officer who killed an unarmed black man, Michael Brown, Twitter users were engaged in a conversation that generated 3.4 million tweets. Further, hashtags such as #BlackLivesMatter, #Ferguson, #HandsUpDontShoot and #IfTheyGunnedMeDown offered users, particularly those who were not yet involved in activism, an opportunity to contribute to the conversation that they cared about. The online conversations have kept America's attention focused on the fight for police accountability.

Black Lives Matter and Presidential Campaigns

The Black Lives Matter Movement has been criticized for raising havoc in various presidential campaign trails. However, the interruption of presidential campaigns should be viewed as one of their strategy to highlight injustices. Members allied to the movement were very vocal, and they interrupted public appearances of presidential hopefuls such as Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton, as well as Martin O'Malley (Marino, 2015). The candidates were confronted with questions about their responsibility for the current state of affairs as well as their plans to do away with racial injustice. According to Bradford (2016), in the BLM, activists raise public awareness through marches as well as other forms of protest including the die-ins that reflect the sit-ins of the 1960s. All these strategies enable individuals to express rage as well as support regarding the issues. The efforts of the activists allied to the Black Lives Matter Movement are bringing issues of unequal police treatment into the public consciousness.

Response to Criticisms and Other Movements

It is evident that the BLM has encountered backlash from individual who argue that it ignores the value of White people who are also victims of various circumstances similar to those of black people. Thus the creation of the #AllLivesMatterPlatform as well as the #BlueLivesMatter platform. The latter was focused on cherishing and remembering the lives of police officers who lost their lives in the line of duty. However, the BLM is aimed at highlighting the systematic disparity in the manner that black and white people are treated under the law. Inequalities are deeply entrenched in the law as well as its enforcement. Therefore, the supporters of All Lives Matter fail to acknowledge that the BLM is not assuming that White lives do not matter, but rather African Americans have been limited by institutionalized inequalities that do not face the whites in the same ways.

Additionally, the success of the BLM has inspired as well as encouraged other online movements. Many of these movements support as well as act as subgroups to the original #BlackLivesMatter movement. For instance, #SayHerName and # (insert name of slain Black individual) have received considerable attention. The Say Her Name movement was developed to bring the Black Women's lives to the public attention and provide a complete narrative regarding policing and race. Additionally, the # (Insert name of slain Black individual) has often been posted along with Black Lives Matter hashtag to make the name of the victim of police violence known to the public (Hurst, Fitz Gibbon & Nurse, 2016). Therefore, it humanizes the victim and allows for each victim's story to stand on its own while recognizing its position in the greater problem of systematic racism in the American society.

Unity and the Importance of Black Lives Matter

According to the Black Lives Matter (2017) through its mission statement, the movement is an ideological as well as political intervention, acknowledging that individuals are not controlled by the same political machine that they are seeking to hold accountable. When individuals have the capacity to put an end to hyper-criminalization of black individuals and end the poverty, regulate the surveillance of black folks, every other race will have a better shot at staying free. Hobson () calls on the black community and their allies to take up the call that Black Lives Matter. That is not to ignore that Black lives are more important than other lives, or other races are not criminalized and oppressed in many ways. Rather people ought to remain in solidarity with all oppressed citizens who are fighting for their liberation and acknowledge that the destinies of all races are intertwined.

Connecting Black Lives Matter to Other Movements

It is necessary to have the strategy as well as action centered on blackness. Further, all Americans should recognize the vital role that Black Lives and struggles for black liberation have played in encouraging and anchoring social movements for liberation. The women's movements, queer movements, Chicano liberation movement among other movements have adopted the strategies and the theory of black liberation. Therefore, if people are committed to a society where all the lives matter, then they should support a movement that has inspired and encouraged much more. Black lives should be lifted as a way of connecting struggles across race, gender, class, nationality, sexuality as well as disability.

Stand Up for Black Lives Matter

Categorically, when the black community cries out in defense for their lives which are sometimes uniquely and savagely targeted by the state, they are beseeching other races that are their family to stand up and affirm black lives. At such times, people should not change the conversation by talking about how other lives matter. In any case, they matter, but they should stand in solidarity with the black community and unwaveringly defend humanity because the collective future of America depends on it. The black lives matter movement should not kill the unity of America; rather it should build our potential to foster power for transformative social change.


Black Lives Matter,. (2017). About the Black Lives Matter Network. Black Lives Matter. Retrieved 9 February 2017, from http://blacklivesmatter.com/about/

Edwards, S. (2016). Black lives matter (1st ed.). Minneapolis: ABDO.

Hobson, J. (2016). Are All the Women Still White?: Rethinking Race, Expanding Feminisms (1st ed.). New York: SUNY Press.

Hurst, C., Fitz Gibbon, H., & Nurse, A. (2017). Social inequality (1st ed.). New York, N.Y.: Routledge.

Marino, G. (2015). Vicissitudes of Meaning: ‘All Lives Matter’ vs. Black Lives Matter. Commonwealmagazine.org. Retrieved 9 February 2017, from https://www.commonwealmagazine.org/blog/vicissitudes-meaning-%E2%80%98all-lives-matter%E2%80%99-vs-black-lives-matter

McClain, D. (2016). The Black Lives Matter Movement Is Most Visible on Twitter. Its True Home Is Elsewhere.. The Nation. Retrieved 9 February 2017, from https://www.thenation.com/article/black-lives-matter-was-born-on-twitter-will-it-die-there/

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