Black Lives Matter (BLM) is a movement that advocates for the rights of Black individuals around the world. It began in the United States in 2013, following the acquittal of Trayvon Martin’s killer, George Zimmerman. The movement gained additional traction in 2014, after Michael Brown, an unarmed Black teenager, was killed by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, and the officer was not indicted.
Black Lives Matter campaigns against violence and systemic racism towards Black people. This includes issues such as police brutality, racial profiling, and racial inequality in the United States’ criminal justice system. While BLM primarily operates within the United States, it has also sparked conversations and actions against anti-Black racism globally.
The phrase “Black Lives Matter” itself is an affirmation of the worth and dignity of Black people, countering a historical and ongoing narrative that suggests otherwise. The movement emphasizes that while all lives do matter, there is a specific and urgent need to address the injustices faced by Black people.
One important aspect of the movement is its decentralized nature. While there is an official Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation that provides some coordination, much of the advocacy and protest associated with BLM is carried out by independent groups and individuals who align with the goals of the movement.
It’s also worth noting that BLM intersects with several other social and political issues, such as LGBTQ+ rights, feminism, and economic justice. Many people involved in the movement highlight the need to address these interconnected forms of oppression in order to achieve true racial justice.