In 2013, three radical Black women organizers — Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, and Opal Tometi — created a Black-centered political will and movement building project called #BlackLivesMatter. It was in response to the acquittal of Trayvon Martin’s murderer, George Zimmerman.
The movement is a member-led global network of more than 40 chapters. The BLM members organize local power to intervene in violence inflicted on Black communities by the state, vigilantes and more all over the country.
According to the Herstory website: "Black Lives Matter is an ideological and political intervention in a world where Black lives are systematically and intentionally targeted for destruction. It is an affirmation of Black folks’ humanity, our contributions to this society, and our resilience in the face of deadly oppression". The fact that black people have to create an organization to emphasize their humanity to this society & the world, demonstrates the sickness of the situation.
As #BlackLivesMatter developed throughout 2013 and 2014, it was utilized as a platform and organizing tool. Other groups, organizations, and individuals used it to amplify anti-Black racism across the country, in all the ways it showed up. Tamir Rice, Tanisha Anderson, Mya Hall, Walter Scott, Sandra Bland — these names are inherently important. The space that #BlackLivesMatter held and continues to hold helped propel the conversation around the state-sanctioned violence they experienced. We particularly highlighted the egregious ways in which Black women, specifically Black trans women, are violated. #BlackLivesMatter was developed in support of all Black lives.
In 2014, Mike Brown was murdered by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson. It was a guttural response to be with our people, our family — in support of the brave and courageous community of Ferguson and St. Louis as they were being brutalized by law enforcement, criticized by media, tear gassed, and pepper sprayed night after night. Darnell Moore and Patrisse Cullors organized a national ride during Labor Day weekend that year. We called it the Black Life Matters Ride. In 15 days, we developed a plan of action to head to the occupied territory to support our brothers and sisters. Over 600 people gathered. We made two commitments: to support the team on the ground in St. Louis, and to go back home and do the work there. We understood Ferguson was not an aberration, but in fact, a clear point of reference for what was happening to Black communities everywhere.
When it was time for us to leave, inspired by our friends in Ferguson, organizers from 18 different cities went back home and developed Black Lives Matter chapters in their communities and towns — broadening the political will and movement building reach catalyzed by the #BlackLivesMatter project and the work on the ground in Ferguson.
It became clear that we needed to continue organizing and building Black power across the country. People were hungry to galvanize their communities to end state-sanctioned violence against Black people, the way Ferguson organizers and allies were doing. Soon we created the Black Lives Matter Global Network infrastructure. It is adaptive and decentralized, with a set of guiding principles. Our goal is to support the development of new Black leaders, as well as create a network where Black people feel empowered to determine our destinies in our communities.
The Black Lives Matter Global Network would not be recognized worldwide if it weren’t for the folks in St. Louis and Ferguson who put their bodies on the line day in and day out, and who continue to show up for Black lives.
This article is an excerpt of the information that exists on the black lives matter website and reflects their goals and history. Now if you have read the title, it asks a question, Why should you care? well, why wouldn't you care? This organization is a symptom of the discrimination and racism that is so blatant in America and frankly all over the world. In a world where everyone felt respected and valued as human beings there wouldn't be organizations created to remind people of just that. It is a shame that in 2020 in a world that regards itself as "civilized" that black people had to create an organization to protect their humanity. Think about that.
After reading this if you come out with anything it should be the following: Support the movement and participate in all of the events they hold, so that this generation can make sure that in a 100 years people won't have to exclaim something that should already be obvious and respected.
Here's the link to Donate to Black Lives Matter and support!