It’s been six years since the development of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement. The movement was an immediate response to the death of Trayvon Martin and the acquittal of George Zimmerman in his murder trial. And the movement has only grown from there. As their website says, “The project is now a member-led global network of more than 40 chapters. Our members organize and build local power to intervene in violence inflicted on Black communities by the state and vigilantes.” Their Herstory page goes on to say, “Black Lives Matter is an ideological and political intervention in a world where Black lives are systematically and intentionally targeted for demise.”
The origins of the movement began with three women: Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, and Opal Tometi.
Each co-creator was featured in this year’s issue of 2020 Time100, Time Magazine’s top 100 influential people in the world. As an excerpt from the article that accompanied their images-written by Sybrina Fulton, founder of the Trayvon Martin Foundation- said, “This is about human lives. We want people to support us, stand with us, write a letter, speak to your local officials, join a rally. Do something. Make sure people are hearing your voice saying, “Black lives matter.” We can’t give up. Patrisse, Alicia, and Opal won’t.” It sourced out a link to ways that you can join in the Black Lives Matter conversation.
And while the inclusive movement began with speaking out against violence in the Black community- which remains one of their central missions-it has grown to include many more avenues in which change must be enacted.
In 2020, the Black Lives Matter movement has begun targeting voters to ensure that the resources are readily available on their site, whether it is polling locations or registering to vote. “BLM’s #WhatMatters2020 is a campaign aimed to maximize the impact of the BLM movement by galvanizing BLM supporters and allies to the polls in the 2020 U.S Presidential Election to build collective power and ensure candidates are held accountable for the issues that systematically and disproportionately impact Black and under-served communities across the nation,” according to their site.
Their hashtag, #WhatMatters2020 assists in cultivating a way for others to share in the spread of knowledge when it comes to voter awareness through social media. As previously mentioned, although this is their latest mission, the BLM is nowhere near finished. Not until the United States and the whole world begin to see the change that the movement is striving for, will these powerful women stop, and maybe not even then.
Watch their mini interview with Time Magazine: