Analytical Essay on Black Lives Matter Movement: Background and Main Purpose

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Since the beginning of time people have been exercising their social media skills without even being aware of it. Referencing, telling stories, creating an identity for themselves and simply sharing information are all things that eventually escalated into the social media platforms we all know and love today. The first social media site ever created was called Six Degrees, it was created in 1997. It filled all the criteria of social media such as allowing people to create a personal profile and make online friends with other users. In 1999 is when some of the first blogging sites came out, the popularity of these created the social media sensation that is still popular to this day. A couple of years later around 2002 Facebook and Myspace became the first sites to have over a million users. Advances in time, technology, and society lead to thousands of new developments and social media platforms created thus bringing us to the media world we live in today.

What would be your answer if you added social plus media? It makes you think deeper into the simple word we all say daily and don't think too much about. Social media is defined by profiletree as forms of electronic communication, such as websites for social networking, through which users create online communities to share ideas, information, personal messages, videos, and much more. But social media is more than just Instagram and Snapchat, it is a way of life. To understand it better you have to break it down, for starters, social. Social comes from the Latin socius meaning 'friend.' It can be described as someone who enjoys being around people and loves company. A social butterfly, someone who is friendly with everyone they meet, fluttering from person to person, just like a butterfly. When you're being social, you are everybody's friend. Then next comes the term media. Media is the plural for medium, which references the communication channels that we use to disseminate news, music, educational, promotional messages, and other data. It can include newspapers, magazines, television, radio, billboards, phones, the internet, and billboards.

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A social movement that nearly broke social media a couple of years ago is the Black Lives Matter movement. To this day almost everyone sees at least one post dedicated to this movement or a #BlackLivesMatter hashtag somewhere in their feed. This is a social movement consisting of a group of activists who feel betrayed by the system. According to the black lives matter website, they aim to make everybody understand that 'Black Lives Matter (BLM) is an international activist movement, originating in the African-American community, that campaigns against violence and systemic racism towards black people. BLM regularly holds protests speaking out against police killings of black people, and broader issues such as racial profiling, police brutality, and racial inequality in the United States criminal justice system.' The BLM movement is iconic, it's a political wake up call for a world that allows African American lives to be targeted for demise. One way to look at it is almost like a cry for help, but much stronger and more organized such as an affirmation of the black community's humanity, contribution to the society, and resilience in the face of deadly oppression. The BLM is a humble movement, they make it clear that they understand there is already an abundance of activists out there that work hard to undermine, and overcome the stereotypes, but everybody's voice is important, and deserves to be heard.

It may seem inevitable for a movement like this to have been commenced but what caused it to take off was in the summer of 2013, after George Zimmerman's acquittal for the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, a young black man who had just bought a bag of skittles from the convenience store. Controversial times called for the BLM movement to officially commence. Three strong females Alicia Garcia, Patrisse Cullors, and Opal Tometi started the movement in 2013. The Next year another innocent black man Mike Brown was Murdered by Ferguson Police officer Darren Wilson. This was a hard time for the black community, but people finally started to realize that they need to take a stand. The unethical mistreatment of people, brutalization, discriminated by law enforcement, as well as repeatedly tased and pepper-sprayed. The BLM movement hopes to give back, in a way that the victims of the social demise can be compensated by what matters, a stronger and more respected community base.

The Black Lives Matter movement is chapter-based, meaning anytime a milestone is overcome that calls for a new chapter. So far in 2019 over 40 chapters have been accomplished. The movement is expansive, consisting of an abundance of people who have strong beliefs and are willing to fight for them. These activists want to see change, but they're aware that to take a stand, the spectrum has to be broadened. They need to get as many people on their side as they can from all varieties of ethnic backgrounds. Affirming the lives of black queer, trans, Hispanic, disabled, undocumented, Muslims, people with records, women, and all black people along the gender spectrum. The movement is working towards a world where no lives are no longer systematically targeted or demised.

The BLM movement began as one simple hashtag and expanded to a whole movement. With the help of all social media platforms such as a twitter account, facebook account as well as a whole website dedicated to the BLM movement. People seeing the posts and reposting them, making a post themselves, or using the hashtag allows for more and more people to become aware of the topic leading to a social media takeover. This ideology is similar to the ideas in the book “Writing on the Wall,” Chapter 3- How Luther went Viral: The Role of Social Media in Revolutions focuses on the ideology of spreading information whether its through word of mouth or reblogging somebody's post. After the information is spread enough it then goes viral and it seems like it’s the topic of every post and conversation. The section “Like, Recommend, Share” does a good job of depicting this idea of how things go viral. The newest idea to the BLM movement is the #WhatMatters2020 which focuses on encouraging black voters to step up in the community, vote in the election and try to take a stand for what they believe in, every vote counts.

The Black Lives Matter movement has created many reactions, and the people's perception of BLM varies considerably on race, shocker. The Phrase 'All Lives Matter' sprang up as a response to the Black Lives Matter movement, but has been criticized for attempting to dismiss the meaning of BLM. Another attempt to 'steal the spotlight' following the shooting of two police officers in Ferguson, the hashtag Blue Lives Matter was created to support the police, which created a whole other angle of angry activist outbreaks. The Black Lives Matter movement was created to address a sensitive but world-known topic of the continuation of racism in the 21st century, along with the police brutality and deaths of innocent people, which unfortunately just so happens to occur mostly in the black community. The activists of BLM are attempting to have their voices heard because no other race will ever have to worry about sending their son out of the house at night scared that a police officer may confuse a bag of Skittles for a weapon.

Bibliography:

  1. Brown. “Home.” Black Lives Matter, 24 Oct. 2019, blacklivesmatter.com/.
  2. Hendricks, Drew. “The Complete History of Social Media: Then And Now.” Small Business Trends, 6 May 2013, smallbiztrends.com/2013/05/the-complete-history-of-social-media-infographic.html.
  3. Smith. “Social - Dictionary Definition.” Vocabulary.com, 2005, www.vocabulary.com/dictionary/social.
  4. Standage, Tom. Writing on the Wall: Social Media: the First 2,000 Years. Bloomsbury, 2014.
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Analytical Essay on Black Lives Matter Movement: Background and Main Purpose. (2022, August 12). Edubirdie. Retrieved July 25, 2024, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/analytical-essay-on-black-lives-matter-movement-background-and-main-purpose/
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Analytical Essay on Black Lives Matter Movement: Background and Main Purpose [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Aug 12 [cited 2024 Jul 25]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/analytical-essay-on-black-lives-matter-movement-background-and-main-purpose/
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