Why Black Lives Matter

Subject: American History
Type: Evaluation Essay
Pages: 4
Word count: 903
Topics: Black Lives Matter, Police Brutality, Racism


Black lives matter is a social and political ideology or concept known for highlighting and fighting racial inequality or discrimination and racism in general. It is a concept often associated with the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement that Patrisse Cullors, Opal Tometi and Alicia Garza founded in 2013. The movement was founded as a response to widespread discrimination against black people and other minorities. The black lives matter ideology is somewhat decentralized and international in its appeal and followership. However, it is concentrated in the United States where it has hugely affected popular culture. Black people, concerned majorly by incidents and trends of racially motivated police brutality, mainly propel the concept of black lives matter. However, it noteworthy that the concept of and support for the phrase ‘black lives matter’ is not restricted to the BLM movement. Hence, black lives matter generally refers to opposition to racism and police brutality. Widespread discrimination and police brutality towards black people and other minorities, which violates their rights, are the main reasons black lives matter.

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Why Black Lives Matter

As society becomes more globalized, multicultural and complex in interactions, the need for sustainable peace, justice and coexistence becomes more apparent. Given the recurrent events that signify racism and discrimination by police and other justice system agencies, true healing of wounds that hurt black people and other minorities must be founded on an expanded understanding of the meaning of being human and compassionate. The way groups of different socioeconomic or cultural standing are treated must thus reflect morality, dignity and divinity of human life (Campbell, 2021). The realization of or compliance with these parameters would in principal convince minorities such as Black Americans that their lives matter.

The racism, discrimination and inequality experienced by black people are the main justifications of the phrase ‘black lives matter’. According to Campbell (2021), high-profile killings in the US and elsewhere such as the United Kingdom have led people, especially BLM supporters, to believe black people and other minorities are more likely to be shot by police than their white counterparts are. Moreover, minorities face other forms of discrimination for which there must be calls for quick action against the unequal treatment.

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In society where individualistic rights define and describe people, dignity, respect and love fall in the periphery of interactions and life. In such society, notes Banks (2018), people are de-personalized with names such as criminal, suspect and felon. The evident de-personalization of people has resulted in a dehumanized population in which peoples are treated with little dignity, especially when they are suspected to have broken the law (Bradley, 2022).

According to Bradley (2022), several issues or scenarios explain why black lives matter. First, black people and other minorities or vulnerable groups in the US are persons. Second, these groups are equally important and integral to the success and the stability of the country. That is, explains Bradley (2022), the US would not have flourished to the extent it has without blacks and other minorities. Third, black lives matter because of the historical journey black people have travelled since historical times. For an illustration, as persons and as groups, black people fought for themselves and their place through historical events such as the slavery, the Reconstruction, eugenics and civil rights movement. Throughout these historical times and events, blacks were not only self-directed but were also creative, spiritual, responsible and self-transcending, traits that enhanced their capacity despite the discrimination.

In the opinion of Campbell (2021), black lives matter because of black people’s need for moral formation. In this context, argues Campbell (2021), the cultural, political, economic, and social norms of a country should help create just systems in politics, education, judiciary, and marketplace. In availing such systems, the authorities would help black people attain their ultimate anthropological and pious purpose to unite and commune with others. This feat, opines Rojas, F. (2020), can only be achieved by abandoning the depersonalized and individualistic approach to life in which self-actualization drives people’s action towards others. Instead, society should adopt an approach that considers black people and other minorities to be human beings who are not self-sufficient but need others. According to Banks (2018), the other plausible reason black lives matter is that society and state agencies have expunged moral virtue from their interactions and dealings with black people.

Criticism of Black Lives Matter

Whereas some have criticized the concept of black lives matter, replacing it with ‘all lives matter’, the implication that all races face similar levels of discrimination is false. On the contrary, black people experience aggravated racial discrimination in many ways, most of which are attributed to stereotyping, bias and prejudice. Moreover, blacks encounter more subtle forms of differential treatment than the majority whites do (Bradley, 2022). Blatant prejudice, negative feelings and hostility, which manifest through and result in unequal treatment of black people, make their loves worth protecting.


Several reasons explain why black lives matter. Most important is the fact that they are human beings with feelings, thus should be treated with dignity and respect. Second, the journeys and the efforts that black people and other minorities have taken reveal not only their resilience but also their rights to equal treatment by the authorities and systems. In particular, the justice system, especially law enforcers must act fairly and without prejudice towards black people. Whereas all groups face different forms of discrimination, Blacks have suffered faced severer discrimination since historical times, justifying the statement or the concept that ‘black lives matter’.

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  1. Banks, C. (2018). Disciplining black activism: post-racial rhetoric, public memory and decorum in news media framing of black lives matter movement. Continuum, 32(6): 709-720.
  2. Bradley, A. (2022). “Why Do Black Lives Matter?” Acton Institute. Retrieved on November 3, 2022 from https://www.acton.org/acton-notes/volume-30-number-4/why-do-black-lives-matter
  3. Campbell, A. (2021). “What is Black Lives Matter and what are Their Aims?” BBC News. Retrieved on November 3, 2022 from https://www.bbc.com/news/axplainers-53337780
  4. Rojas, F. (2020). Moving beyond the rhetoric: a comment on Szetela’s critique of the black lives matter movement. Ethnic and Racial Studies, 43(8): 1407-1413.
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