Contributed by Yomna Elsayed 10/23/2015
Black Lives Matter is a chapter-based national organization launched 2012 in response to George Zimmerman acquittal on the charge of killing 17-year old Trayvon Martin. Co-founded by Patrisse Cullors, Opal Tometi, and Alicia Garzal the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter was a call to action and a response to anti-Black racism. The movement gained momentum after the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson and the chocking of Eric Garner in New York. In 2014, Black Lives Matter organized a freedom ride which attracted more than 500 supporters from across the United States and Canada to support the activists in Ferguson, and several protests nation-wide.
Black Lives Matter expand the concept of state violence to include “all of the ways in which Black people are intentionally left powerless at the hands of the state”. They also situate their goal beyond nationalism and refuse marginalization from within. Founders of the movement view it as a re(building) of the Black Liberation Movement that aims at centering those previously marginalized. According to their website, “Black Lives Matter affirms the lives of Black queer and trans folks, disabled folks, black-undocumented folks, folks with records, women and all Black lives along the gender spectrum.”
For more information about Black Lives Matter, visit their website, check out their facebook page, follow them on twitter, instagram, and Tumblr.