Written by Prakriti Panwar, a grade 11 student
Immediately after the case of George Floyd’s brutal murder, the hashtag (#blacklivesmatter) gained rapid momentum on all social media platforms. Though the hashtag itself is pretty self -explanatory, there is an entire history to it. It is more than just a hashtag. The Black Lives Matter movement was founded after Trayvon Martin’s murder, which took place in 2012. The 17-year-old was shot dead outside a convenience store by George Zimmerman, a neighbourhood watch captain.
However, Zimmerman was not proven guilty and was set free. In response to this, the Black Lives Matter Foundation was found, with the aim of ‘eradicating white supremacy and build local power’ to stop violence and police brutality against the Black Community. The movement, as well as the foundation, hopes to (and successfully has ) connect people who fight for justice, all over the world.
The #blacklivesmatter has been widely used for a while now. It has successfully gathered people for support, protests,and justice drives. Co-Founders, Patrisse Khan, Opal Tometi and Alicia Garza have not only effectively used social media for voicing their opinions out, but have also fought for the rights of queer/trans black people, with the #allblacklivesmatter. Feminist rights are another social goal BLM activists fight for. The foundation even released a ‘Campaign Zero’ which mainly aims at eradication of police brutality by making legal changes in the system and policies.
The foundation has ‘chapters’ present all around the States, which represent the parts of the country the foundation is situated in. Each chapter has its own website and social media page which constantly updates the participants about protests, petitions,and even rights. It is now extremely easy for people to become a part of the organisation and follow up on their activities as they can simply do so by signing up on the official website and following social media pages.
Apart from fighting for black rights, The BLM Foundation has also supplied people with aid during the Covid-19 pandemic. They have also provided several unemployment packages, resources for small business owners,and relief grants. Black Lives Matter has truly defined the meaning of humanity, magnanimity, and rightful justice by using social media positively. As Alicia Garza accurately describes it, “#blacklivesmatter is a re-humanization project. It’s a way for us to love each other again, to love ourselves, and to project that love into the world so that we can transform it.”
Written by Prakriti Panwar, a grade 11 student.
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