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Black Lives Matter

Social movement originating in the US / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Black Lives Matter (BLM) is a decentralized political and social movement that seeks to highlight racism, discrimination, and racial inequality experienced by black people. Its primary concerns are incidents of police brutality and racially motivated violence against black people.[1][2][3][4][5][6] It started following the killings of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Eric Garner, and Rekia Boyd, among others. The movement and its related organizations typically advocate for various policy changes considered to be related to black liberation.[7] While there are specific organizations that label themselves simply as "Black Lives Matter," such as the Black Lives Matter Global Network, the overall movement is a decentralized network of people and organizations with no formal hierarchy.[8] The slogan "Black Lives Matter" itself remains untrademarked by any group.[9] Despite being characterized by some as a violent movement, the overwhelming majority of its public demonstrations have been peaceful.[10]

Quick facts: Date, Location, Also known as, Cause, Motive...
Black Lives Matter
Logo often used in the Black Lives Matter movement
LocationInternational, largely in the United States
Also known as
  • Black Lives Matter movement
  • BLM
CauseRacial discrimination against black people and other minorities
Protesters lying down over rail tracks with a "Black Lives Matter" banner
A Black Lives Matter die-in over rail tracks, protesting alleged police brutality in Saint Paul, Minnesota (September 20, 2015)

The movement began in July 2013, with the use of the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter on social media after the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the shooting death of African-American teen Trayvon Martin 17 months earlier in February 2012. It became nationally recognized for street demonstrations following the 2014 deaths of two more African Americans, Michael Brown—resulting in protests and unrest in Ferguson, Missouri, a city near St. Louis—and Eric Garner in New York City.[11][12] Since the Ferguson protests, participants in the movement have demonstrated against the deaths of numerous other African Americans by police actions or while in police custody. In the summer of 2015, Black Lives Matter activists became involved in the 2016 United States presidential election.[13] The originators of the hashtag and call to action, Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, and Opal Tometi, expanded their project into a national network of over 30 local chapters between 2014 and 2016.[14]

The movement returned to national headlines and gained further international attention during the global George Floyd protests in 2020 following his murder by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin.[15][16] An estimated 15 million to 26 million people participated in the 2020 Black Lives Matter protests in the United States, making it one of the largest movements in the country's history.[17] It comprised many views and a broad array of demands but they centered on criminal justice reform.

The popularity of Black Lives Matter has shifted over time. Whereas public opinion was net negative in 2018, it grew increasingly positive through 2019 and 2020.[18] A June 2020 Pew Research Center poll found that 67% of adult Americans expressed some support for the Black Lives Matter movement.[19] A later poll conducted in September 2020 showed that support among American adults had dropped to 55%, with notable declines among whites and Hispanics, while support remained widespread among black adults.[20] By May 2022, support for Black Lives Matter had decreased significantly among all racial demographics, including among African-Americans.[21][22][23]