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Black History : Black Lives Matter

Resources in Black History

About BLM

Black Lives Matter (BLM) is a social movement that was formed in the United States in 2013.  The movement began online when California activist Alicia Garza used the phrase "Black Lives Matter" in regard to the acquittal of a neighborhood watch coordinator who had killed an unarmed Black teenager (Trayvon Martin), in 2012.  The killing of Trayvon Martin gained national attention when the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter started to trend on Twitter because of Patrisse Cullors and Opal Tometi - friends of Alicia Garza.  The killing of 46 year old George Floyd in 2020 was met with an immense outpouring of support for the movement in the form of protests, free resources, new organizations, neighborhood watches, and toolkits for aspiring community leaders.

BLM focuses on anti-Black violence, primarily regarding police brutality.  The tragic reality that Black people are more likely to be killed by police than other races is what fueled the beginnings of the movement, and continues to today. 

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To discover more information about BLM on social media, use these popular hashtags:


Say Their Names

"Say Their Names", "Say Her Name", and "Say His Name" started as internet hashtags to raise awareness of victims who have died at the hands of police brutality - particularly U.S. law enforcement.  The hashtag #SayHerName was created by the African American Policy Forum (AAPF).  Not shortly after the "trending" of this hashtag, similar phrases were created to honor the male victims, and subsequently all victims with the #SayTheirNames hashtag.

  • Know Their Names: Black People Killed By the Police in the US, Produced by Alia Chughtai for Al Jazeera, Illustrations by Christian Mugarura Mafigiri - An interactive article with illustrations 
  • #SayTheirNames - A continuously updated directory of Black individuals who have been killed by U.S. Law enforcement.  Their names, ages, and death dates are posted - as well as links to articles about the individuals, and memorial events.
  • Kadir Nelson's "Say Their Names" Illustration for the New Yorker Magazine is closely examined in this interactive article to reveal the faces of Black individuals who have lost their lives to U.S. law enforcement, as well as historical imagery.

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  • Colorism - Privileges or favorable treatment given on the basis of skin color
  • Intersectionality - How race, gender, and other social and political identities can produce different sets of privileges and disadvantages
  • Defunding the Police - The concept of reallocating funds and resources from law enforcement toward community-based programs such as education and health care
  • Microaggression - Subtle or indirect instances of racism.  For example, colorblindness is a form of microaggression because it ignores a person's ethnic identity
  • "No Justice, No Peace" - A slogan used to emphasize that peace cannot be achieved as long as racial injustice exists
  • Performative activism - Ingenuine activism to gain social clout
  • Solidarity - The support for people with whom you have a common goal.  The person showing their solidarity through action is an ally.  Accomplices elevate the ally role by dismantling the systems of oppression

Sources: The American Psychological Association, Big Think, The Brookings Institute, National Conference for Community and Justice (UCCJ).

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De Guzman, M. (2020, July 5). The BLM glossary: Hashtags and terms to know. Daily Bruin.

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