#BlackLivesMatter is a movement that fights for the freedom and justice of black people in a world where these basic rights weren’t afforded to all. This movement was in response to the acquittal of Trayvon Martin’s murderer, George Zimmerman. It’s an ideological and political movement in a world where Black lives are systematically and intentionally targeted – a declaration of Black folks’ humanity and resilience in the face of deadly oppression. This campaign has existed as inspiration for countless black and brown people across the country – especially young people. However, for whatever reason, demands made from the movement also made it the target of criticism and attack from right-wing responders. Most of which have occured on Fox News that have bashed Black Lives Matter as a “terrorist group” and have spewed other dangerous misconceptions about the movement. In this memoir, Patrisse Khan-Cullors, one of the leading co-founder of Black Lives Matter, talks about her backstory of where she came from. Cullors has experienced firsthand the prejudice and persecution Black Americans endure at the hands of law enforcement. Deliberately and ruthlessly targeted by a criminal justice system built to serve white and privileged people, Black people are subject to unjustifiable racial profiling and police brutality. In 2013, when Trayvon Martin’s killer went free, her outrage prompted her to co-found Black Lives Matter with Alicia Garza and Opal Tometi. Condemned as terrorists and as a threat to America, together they created a hashtag that birthed the movement centered around demands for accountability from the authorities who continually turn a blind eye to the injustices inflicted upon minorities. By using a hashtag as their main rallying point they engaged the age group most present on the internet and social media: the youth. Taylor describes how Black Lives Matter has had a massive impact on US politics. Its emergence is due to protests by black leaders against the inadequate responses to racist police killings and brutality. Taylor identifies racism as having three historical molds: “a biological form (certain races are “naturally” superior), newer (often misguided concepts of color blindness or race is artificial), and a culture of poverty (perceptions of Black laziness, excuses, diet, absentee fathers, etc.).” She breaks down the tangling of class and race in American history, pointing to the cycle of poverty that has plagued the black community for centuries. The historic economic vulnerability that Taylor makes clear, helps explain the pattern of police brutality. It is much easier to brutalize and make marginal groups with little economic power, such as African Americans, than those with high socioeconomic status. This film taught more about the movement to those who are uneducated about it. It contained a massive amount of accurate information, detailing the backgrounds of the founders, their motivations, and their strengths. The film inspires many to become more directly active to stand up for their rights and become more deeply involved in their culture. Therefore, when thinking about this in the context of youth impact, the connection is simple: through movies such as this that explain the movement and offer ways to help with it, the younger generation can become inspired and impassioned to carry on the mission. This blog speaks on how Black Lives Matter has been seen as more of a human rights movement rather than a civil rights movement. With their focus being less about changing specific laws and more about fighting for a fundamental reordering of society in which Black lives are free from systematic dehumanization. According to this blog, what gets referred to as the Black Lives Matter movement is really the collective labor of a wide range of Black liberation organizations, all with their own histories. Organizations include groups like the Black Youth Project 100, the Dream Defenders, Assata’s Daughters and many more. These organizers have significantly changed locally and nationally since 2013. Pushing for an advancement so our offspring will be able to live in a world free of hate. I selected an opinionated source in order to help put in perspective on how people feel on the matter. Ransby states that the idea behind the model for social inclusion set forth by the Black Lives Matter network (and other organizations like it) is that when people on the ground make decisions and come up with solutions the results are more likely to meet real needs. She even brings up that Ella Baker, an N.A.A.C.P. field secretary, believes that “strong people don’t need strong leaders.” This has inspired various black organizers to take that message to the heart. This emphasis on the ‘power of the people’ can help empower a new generation to take matters into their own hands and push for social change themselves rather than relying on others to do the work for them. For example, in segregated cities, grassroots campaigns could help bring minorities together to stop the slander on their respective communities.
The article talks about one of the creators of #BlackLivesMatter, which was a direct result of the killing of Trayvon Martin in 2013. Jenkins states that Cullors isn’t a terrorist but a crusader. She will go down as a pioneer of the movement and her memoir shows the journey that she went through until she founded the movement. She first wrote the #BlackLivesMatter hashtag in a comment on a Facebook status of another co-founder Alicia Garza, who was lamenting the acquittal of Martin’s killer, George Zimmerman. Lowery creates an overview of police killings and observes his own professional evolution. The guilt he has as a reporter to constantly approach victims’ families and to ask them for more personal reflections about the victims’ lives. The families often appreciate the chance to clarify their loved one’s name. Their humanity is expressed in a respectful manner but an even-tempered way. Lowery doesn’t try to portray ‘angels.’ Lowery points out that the media focus on the things that the victim did wrong rather than the objective representation of what actually happened – all as a way of implying that they deserved to die. By presenting a more holistic view of events, Lowery helps inspire people to act as they realize how unjustified some of these killings and instances of brutality really are and the pain they cause the families of the victims.