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Black Lives Matter upholds an accessible and intensified history contributing to the generation of the ideas that subsequently introduced the #BlackLivesMatter (BLM) movement. The movement majorly highlighted the efforts made by the revolutionary Black public intellectuals in standing up for their rights. In this essay, the contributions of certain influential personalities leading specific movements have been evaluated along with analyzing the role and importance of the movement for American society.
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The Involvement of BLM Movement
BLM movement poses a remarkable impact on America’s consciousness through its journey from quarterbacks to hashtags, from community vigils to New York, and the courts of Texas as well. It is related to the context of American history of civil rights movements that were initiated as a response to a court case or more of a direct-action campaign, especially with the killing of an African American named Trayvon Martin, who was of 17 years when the verdict was given for the State of Florida v. George Michael Zimmerman (Chase, 2018). This incident disturbed innumerable individuals, the result of which had become a trend afterward out of annoyance.
Contribution of Several Influencing Individuals toward BLM Movement
One of the prominent African-American social reformers named Frederick Douglass once stated that “there is cause to be thankful even for rebellion. It is an impressive teacher, though a stern and terrible one” (Gürcan & Donduran, 2021, p.152), who emphasized his belief of understanding the associated causes of a rebellion which must be formed by maintaining an utmost policy priority. Douglass believed that the factors leading to the rebellion are even worsening. Over the decades, Douglass indulged himself in the Black-led advocacy and collective practices as well that elicited the importance of Black lives to a large extent. Three Black women are found to be admired for instigating the political stances and movements of the Black people in 2013, after which things had expanded into a global foundation including Patrisse Cullors, Alicia Garza, and Opal Tometti. They had initiated the movement intending to thrust for Black liberation from the state-inflicted violence. Cullors further played a major role in co-founding the prison activist to administrate dignity and power that thrived at advocating for a civilian oversight board. Being the board member of the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, she was known to have led a think tank on state and vigilante violence. While initiating the movement, it was stated by Patrisse Cullors that, “when we started BLM it was never to be recognized for our work, but it was to build a movement that works each day to build a more equitable life for all Black lives across the globe” (Black Lives Matter, 2020) Black Lives Matter is an ideological intrusion evidenced on the worldwide scale to deal with the social discrimination against the Black by intentionally targeting them for demise, it had essentially appeared alongside relevant actions taken by the Blacks for facing the deadly oppression of supporting the similar movements with time. Under the direction of these organizers, #BlackLivesMatter emerged throughout 2013 and 2014, whilst the people had started making use of the platform and organizing tool as well.
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Importance of BLM Movement for American Society
The importance of the BLM movement can be explained based on the belief it is one of the greatest social movements in American history that created a sense of effectively understanding of contemporary politics and society, thereby appearing as a human rights movement rather than a civil rights movement. The implication of BLM also established the movement as a benchmark case that enhanced the urge of the researchers to work on the social movement theories. The focus of BLM was changing the specific laws and policies while combating Black lives liberation along with creating a society, where the Blacks can live without any systematic dehumanization. The development of BLM concerning the political and socioeconomic dynamics can be analyzed through the framework designed by the political process theory or the process-tracing method. These social movement theories further make attempts to describe social enlistment concerning the key role of cultural factors, including race, age, sexuality, and gender. Correspondingly, the theories emphasized the social conflicts often being encountered by contemporary society. These were especially directed by the challenges posed over the standard of living, cultural representation, as well as communal identity that have underestimated certain social classes to a noticeable extent. However, the expansion of BLM was significantly noticed in the year 2013, as a large social media reaction to the discharge of George Zimmerman proved to be after the event of the fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin (Gürcan & Donduran, 2021). The movement appeared remarkably with the expansion of far-right movements, the facts related to racism along with the race-specific shootings that took place during Trump’s era, i.e. from the years 2017 to 2021.
Based on the discussion made in the above sections, it can be summarized that by analyzing the above context, the BLM movement has emerged for preserving a remarkable significance within the history of American society. In 2013, the movement had expanded to a broader perspective under the leadership of the three Black women who were considered to be organizers of the BLM movement.
- Black Lives Matter. (2020). Black Lives Matter co-founders Patrisse Cullors, Alicia Garza, and Opal Tometi named to time’s annual time100 list of the 100 most influential people in the world. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eMA6GHTQ4WA
- Chase, G. (2018). The early history of the black lives matter movement, and the implications thereof. Nevada Law Journal, 18, 1091-1112.
- Gürcan, E. C., & Donduran, C. (2021). The formation and development of the black lives matter movement: a political process perspective. Siyasal: Journal of Political Sciences, 30(1), 151-167.
- Campbell, A. (2021). What is Black Lives Matter and what are the aims? Retrieved from https://www.bbc.com/news/explainers-53337780