Born in the wake of the Trayvon Martin murder of 2012, the Black Lives matter movement was created to celebrate black lives, while also calling to attention the disproportionate levels of incarceration and violence towards African Americans in the United States. Black Lives Matter is “an ideological and political intervention” in response to a reality where black lives and freedoms are systematically  targeted. The movement was founded by Alicia Garza, Opal Tometi and Patrisse Cullors as a social media hashtag and grew to a national organization with the help of the community.

Why not #AllLivesMatter?

When a person say that Black Lives Matter, they are not saying that black lives matter more than white lives or brown lives or any other life. This movement is not about placing a superior value on black lives, rather bringing awareness to the treatment of black lives by the law enforcement and judicial systems. The movement aims to shed light on the various ways which black people are mistreated in America today, while also standing in solidarity with other oppressed groups fighting for freedom.

What Makes This Movement Special?

The Black Lives Matter movement strives to empower and protect the lives of all black people, not just straight black men. The movement places an importance on the lives of black transgender and queer people, undocumented people, people with records, disabled people, and women. Unlike organizations in the past, this movement values the involvement and lives of not only racial minorities, but sexual and gender minorities as well.  Not only does the movement acknowledge the issues faced by black men (disproportionate arrest and incarceration rates), it also attempts to validate the state sanctioned struggles faced by black women, disabled, trans and queer people.

Want to Get Involved?

To stay up to date on events and campaigns in the Charleston area, go like Black Lives Matter- Charleston, SC on Facebook or check out www.blacklivesmatterchs.yolasite.com To find out more about the movement as a whole, visit www.blacklivesmatter.com

A woman holds a sign in the streets of downtown Charleston
A woman holds a sign in the streets of downtown Charleston