The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
On February 26th in 2012, the institutional murder of an African-American boy Travyon Martin took place. George Zimmerman shot the 17-year old boy after when Martin was heading back from a convenience store. Zimmerman called the Sanford Police Department and told them that he saw a “real suspicious guy” who might have been behind the burglaries happening in the neighborhood. Even though the police asked Zimmerman not to take any action or follow Martin, Zimmerman did not obey. He left his vehicle and tragically, a violent clash took place during which Zimmerman shot the 17-year old innocent.
However, Zimmerman was acquitted of charges of manslaughter and second-degree murder 17b months later which led to a nationwide rage in America.
This incident as well as the institutional killings that happened before this acted as an inducement for the start of the BLM Movement in America. The Black Lives Matter Movement is a black-led campaign to stand against police brutality and overall violence against black people. It was founded by three community organizers, Alicia Garza, a domestic worker rights organizer, Patrisse Cullors, an anti-police violence organizer, and Opal Tometi, an immigration rights organizer.
They used the internet and social media platforms to demand justice for all victims of violence merely because of their race by starting a hashtag #BlackLivesMatter.
Soon after Black Lives Matter gained momentum, it started redefining other movements like feminism which initially was favored only for white women. The term intersectional feminism was used more often giving visibility to women of color and the LGBTQ+ community.
Myriad of black people have been a victim of racial profiling which has led to violence against them and then ultimately death. BLM movement gives a voice to black people and when not heard, it leads to protests to help create this world a safer space for them.