Ever since the early days of the American civilization when black people were brought to the mainland as slaves to help build the world’s most powerful country that we know today, the African American community has always been at a disadvantage. The earlier generations suffered levels of racism, discrimination, and oppression that could not be fathomed today.
Although the situation has improved since the abolishment of slavery and the right for black people to vote, African Americans are still not seen as equal to white people. The inequalities eventually prompted the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement.
The Needed Change
The Black Lives Matter movement started in 2013 in the United States in response to state-sanctioned violence against black communities and anti-black racism. It was a call to unite black people around the world who suffered from oppression in diverse cultures. The BLM movement was a cry that said ‘enough is enough.’
It was a call to fight for a future where a black person had nothing to hold them back from becoming and achieving whatever they wanted, just like the white people—a future where people were not judged or discriminated against for the color of their skin.
While the BLM movement started in America, it was a freedom cry for black people in all parts of the world suffering from anti-Black racism to this day.
How Did the BLM Movement Start
The term BLM was coined in 2013 by Alicia Garza, an American civil rights activist after a 17-year-old black American named Trayvon Martin was shot and killed by a cop named George Zimmerman. The policeman was also later acquitted in trial after claiming self-defense. This led several activists to start the BLM movement to protect black citizens' rights from state-approved and racially motivated attacks.
Seven years and numerous cases of police brutality on unarmed African Americans later, George Floyd, a 46-year-old black American from Minnesota, was suffocated to death by a white officer named Derek Chauvin to restrain and arrest Floyd for allegedly using a counterfeit bill.
How Did the BLM Movement Change the World
The death of Floyd sparked nationwide uproar and rioting in the streets of Minneapolis. The outrage soon engulfed the entire country, with protests being held in all states. People of all races and ethnicities took part in these protests. Many of these protestors were inflicted with serious injuries after the police tried to contain and disperse the crowds with anti-riot gear, such as tear gas, shields, batons, and rubber bullets. There were even some reported deaths during the skirmishes.
The resultant situation in America received a global audience through mainstream media. The movement quickly spread across all many outsides of the states, including Canada, England, New Zealand, and France. People from diverse cultures and ethnicities in these countries came together to support the black community. Social media was undoubtedly the biggest medium for the BLM mission statement 2020 to spread.
These historical events, with George Floyd as the face of the BLM movement, paved the way for a world that identifies racism and takes strong action against it instead of normalizing the status quo.