Black Lives Matter: Hashtag to Organization



Five years ago, BlackLivesMatter was just a hashtag on Twitter about the death of Treyvon Martin by the hands of a police officer. Today, the movement has developed into a global organization that has been recognized and there have been more and more protests each year. What started as a few protests, turned into a movement and now has focused on influencing politics and policy. This movement focuses on the liberation and equal rights of the African-American community and to stop systematic oppression that has been faced in America. The main core of the BlackLivesMatter movement is to prevent racial profiling, police brutality and racial inequality in the United States Legal Justice System.

The movement became recognized in the United States as protests broke out over the nation to get justice for Trayvon Martin. Later on, there was Michael Brown and Eric Green that were killed at the hands of a police officer. Even in the 2016 Presidential Election, there were Black Lives Matter activists who became involved in the election and encouraged all people to vote for Hillary Clinton. Despite all the unity, love, and education this movement stands for, there has been a lot of varied reactions. Soon after Black Lives Matter was formed, All Lives Matter was formed in response to Black Lives Matter. Which has caused a lot of controversy surrounding the movement.  In the history of the United States, there have been similar movements that never really finished. For example, the Black Power movement, Civil Rights movement, and the Black Feminist movement of the 1980’s and these movements are what inspired the BLM (Black Lives Matter) movement because all of these movements meant well but were put on the back burner and racism was never really solved, it was silenced. This movement has transformed into a political and global organization and is now recognized in other parts of the world.

One of the biggest misconceptions is that Black Lives Matter created divisions which couldn’t be further from the truth, it unites the African-American community and it isn’t just African-Americans that join the protests and support the movements, there are all different types of races that join the movement and support it. The demonstrations that the Black Lives Matter organization participates in is meant to say that racism still exists, people are being murdered because of it and it is time to stand up for what is right. This movement is about unity and equality and the demonstrations might be uncomfortable to hear but in today’s day and age, they need to be seen and heard because being silent about an issue isn’t an option. Recently, a book has been turned into a movie and it is based on a real story.  ‘The Hate U Give’ by Angela Thomas, it touches on police brutality and racism as the main character, an African-American teenager,  watches her friend get shot by a police officer and everything around her changes and she starts to speak up for herself and her murdered friend. This book is another example of the intent of the Black Lives Matter movement and the racial profiling African-Americans face in America. If you think about it, if black lives really matter, why is there still systematic oppression? If black lives really matter, then AllLivesMatter wouldn’t be needed.

Overall, the Black Lives Matter movement isn’t about one versus the other, it is about unity, love, and liberation. The Black Lives Matter movement only wants equality, justice, and unity for the African-American community and in no way is saying one life is more valuable than others. So when you hear the words ‘Black Lives Matter’, understand it for what it is. It is an outcry to make a difference and prevent injustices, you can either support the movement and commit yourself to the social, systematic and economic liberation of African-Americans or you can choose to stand on the side but do not silence the words of people who want to make a difference and create a liberated world.