Black Lives Matter

Making sense of Black Lives Matter and the Black Experience in the United States

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two Black university student holding "Black Lives Matter" signBlack Lives Matter (BLM) is a civil rights movement and activist network that originated in 2013 as a hashtag campaign started by three Black organizers — Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, and Opal Tometi. The #BlackLivesMatter gained momentum on social media in the wake of a jury finding George Zimmerman not guilty of the second-degree murder of an African-American teenager Trayvon Martin.

While BLM has focused much of its attention on police violence and disparities in the criminal justice system, the movement has grown into an activist network connected through social media. The movement is made up of individuals, local and regional groups, and international coalitions like the Black Lives Matter Global Network and the Movement for Black Lives (M4BL), which may champion local issues relevant to their members.

Photo credit: Tom Hilton, Black Lives Matter, 2016. Flickr. Some rights reserved.

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