Black Lives Matter

613 words | 3 page(s)

The article in question highlights the recent explosion of the human rights organization, “Black Lives Matter.” As the article illustrates, it came to fruition as a sort of Twitter hashtag but quickly spread and gained momentum across the nation. One of the many undertakings of the movement has been to bring to the forefront the conversation of police brutality on minorities, and as such, they have been largely able to help shape and develop the public perspective of the issue. Gaining momentum since 2013, the group is now a prominent social advocacy and activism group. Yet, there have been some detractors and speed bumps for the group, such as involvement with violent protests and upstaging largely progressive candidate Bernie Sanders on the democratic nomination campaign trail. Nevertheless, the organization has been helpful in amassing followings and orchestrating protests in large urban areas across the nation, as this article highlights.

30 concepts (top 5 highlighted):
racial justice: equity for all races.
Police misconduct: negative police interactions.
Liberation struggles: setbacks for social advocacy groups
#BlackLivesMatter: original Twitter hashtag that started movement
Occupation: primary form of protest.
“black-on-black crime”: narrative attempt to derail Black Lives Matter movement.
Black pathology: opponents’ excuse for African-American issues
white supremacy: domination of other cultures by whites.
Radical discourse: radical social resistance.
Human rights: idea of equality between all humans.
Grassroots movement: movement from ground up.
Race relations: relationships between racial groups.
Racial hierarchy: systemic social classification of races.
Jim Crow: reference to segregation laws against blacks.
Mass incarceration: high prison rates
Structural racism: engendered social racism.
Social redistribution: regrowth of social platforms for African-Americans.
Extrajudicial killing: Killing outside of law by police officers.
Militant resistance: organized violent resistance
Despotism: Absolute power
post-segregation era: Era following 1960s segregation
Apartheid: policy of racial discrimination
Racialized policing: systemic discrimination in judicial affairs.
Social inclusion: advocating for social involvement
Carceral state: state relating to prison.
Criminal justice system: branch of American politics
power relations: how power is structured in society
amelioration: making improvements
creative disturbance: form of protest
respectability politics: aimed towards repairing race relations.

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Three prominent historical facts include the 1955 killing of Emmett Till which helped to catalyze movements such as the Black Lives Matter movement, the 2013 development of the Twitter hashtag #BlackLivesMatter which started the conversation and the approach that the social movement quickly began to adapt and the 2014 protests which occurred as a result of the death of Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown.

My overall opinions of this article is that it provides an honest account of the Black Lives Matter movement, as well as prior motivations for the movement itself and the positives and negatives associated with the movement as a whole. Given the nature of the movement itself, this article highlights many of the important aspects of it such as public opinion, the goals that they have set and the involvement of the organization in helping catalyze social progress in the United States. The writing style works well and is highly informative, and the research that is compiled is great as it is used to supplant the information provided. In essence, the article is extremely efficient at presenting the details surrounding this movement and the different platforms that the movement stands for as a whole, as well as the social opinions which have been generated of the movement in the past.

  • Alexander, Michelle (2010) “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness.” New York: The New Press.
  • King, Jamilah. (2015) “#blacklivesmatter: How Three Friends Turned a Spontaneous Facebook Post into a Global Phenomenon,” The California Sunday Magazine, January 3, 2015, available at https://stories.californiasunday.com/2015- 03-01/black-lives-matter
  • Klein, Naomi (2007). “The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism” Picador. New York.

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