If you were not aware of the recent BLM movement. This post will tell you everything you need to know about the movement. Information will include who founded the movement, why and how beneficial the movement is in today’s society.
Firstly, what does “BLM” stand for? I hear you ask. BLM is an abbreviation for BLACK LIVES MATTER. BLM is a “chapter-based national organization working for the validity of Black life. We are working to (re)build the Black liberation movement.”
The movement was originally created in 2012 after George Zimmerman was acquitted of the murder of Trayvon Martin. According to the website, the movement acts as a ‘call to action’ and response against anti-black racism. Many may see the movement as simply addressing the extrajudicial killings of black people by the police of vigilantes. However, the movement goes beyond that. As well as this, the organisation is looking to work towards creating a community where black lives are no longer systematically and intentionally targeted and treated unlawfully.
The organization was created by three women Patrisse Cullors, Opal Tometi and Alicia Garza. The three women became outraged following the acquittal of George Zimmerman in 2013. Alicia Garza, who was following the trail of George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer who had shot dead Trayvon Martin,17. Garza heard of Zimmerman’s verdict, not guilty of second-degree murder and acquitted of manslaughter, and felt outraged. Garza, who has a brother the same height and build of Martin believes it could have been him or anyone like him. Following the verdict, Garza wrote several messages on Facebook titled “essentially a love note to black people.” She concluded the messaged with “Black people. I Love you. I love us. Our Lives Matter.” To which Patrisse Cullors shared her friend’s words and used the hashtag #blacklivesmatter, after every repost.
Alicia Garza and Patrisse got together and began discussing ways to organise a campaign surrounding black lives. They got in contact with Opal Tometi who is another activist. Together the women began setting up Tumblr and twitter accounts. Users then began to use the #hashtag as a way of sharing stories about why black lives matter.
More Than a Hashtag.
Social media acts as a platform for political groups and social movements. The #blacklivesmatter came third on twitters most used hashtags to social causes. A graph shows that the hashtag was used eight times as often as the #alllivesmatter.
The organization deliberately used hashtags to promote a message, social media became a centerpiece of their strategy. As a result of this, the use of social media and hashtags enabled the movement to grow. As a result, the hashtag allowed the movement to promote their message across the world and enabled people to show solidarity across different platforms.
Divide and Divide.
Users responded to the #blacklivesmatter with the hashtag #alllivesmatter. The hashtag is more often than not used to oppose the black lives matter movement. As a consequence individuals believe that the movement is only thinking about black lives. As a consequence of the #Allivesmatter hashtag, the creation of the #bluelivesmatter in response to the killings of two police officers in New York City.
In conclusion, hashtags have proven a way of creating awareness and ensuring that a topic gets enough coverage. In this case, the use of hashtags created the divide between communities in America as well as creating solidarity across the world in support if the movement. Similarly to this, a trending hashtag has now become a way of communicating. allowing for users on social media platforms to gain further publicity on topics they address. it is questionable whether without the hashtag the Black Lives Matter Movement would have received as much publicity or following as they have now.