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We are expansive. We are a collective of liberators who believe in an inclusive and spacious movement. We also believe that in order to win and bring as many people with us along the way, we must move beyond the narrow nationalism that is all too prevalent in Black communities. We must ensure we are building a movement that brings all of us to the front.
We affirm the lives of Black queer and trans folks, disabled folks, undocumented folks, folks with records, women, and all Black lives along the gender spectrum. Our network centers those who have been marginalized within Black liberation movements.
We are working for a world where Black lives are no longer systematically targeted for demise.
We affirm our humanity, our contributions to this society, and our resilience in the face of deadly oppression.
The call for Black lives to matter is a rallying cry for ALL Black lives striving for liberation.
-Entry from blacklivesmatter.com
Michel Martin interviews Patrisse Khan-Cullors for NPR regarding her published memoir called "When They Call You A Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir." Patrisse Khan-Cullors is one of the three women who in 2013 started using #BLM as an organizing tool to express their frustration, anger and pain over the violent deaths of unarmed black children and adults.
Here's a sneak peek into the 7-minute interview:
What she says to those who perceive Black Lives Matter as anti-white
"It's unequivocally not true. Black Lives Matter is really Black Lives Matter Too. It is not a phrase that is about excluding — it's a phrase that is about focus. We are focusing on black people because time and time again, we become the subjects of neglect."
Black Lives Matter is a global, chapter-based, member-led movement that began as a hashtag, a response to the acquittal of Trayvon Martin's murderer, George Zimmerman. #BlackLivesMatter was the social media rallying cry of three black radical organizers, Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, and Opal Tometi. According to blacklivesmatter.com, “Black Lives Matter is an ideological and political intervention in a world where Black lives are systematically and intentionally targeted for demise. It is an affirmation of Black folks’ humanity, our contributions to society, and our resilience in the face of deadly oppression.” In 2014, following the death of Mike Brown in Ferguson, MO, Black Lives Matter galvanized and organized a collective response, called the Black Life Matters Ride. More than 600 people from all over the country gathered to make two commitments: to provide support to the teams in and around St. Louis, and to return to their respective homes to spearhead local activism. Since then, Black Lives Matter has used its protest strategies to disrupt local politics as well as the campaign events of presidential candidates, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump; activists learned to create opportunities to swap strategies, to avoid government surveillance, and to encrypt their smartphone communications. Time Magazine salutes Black Lives Matter's transformation from “an organic uprising” to “organized blocs with specific demands” that attend to issues of police brutality and injustice. Black Lives Matter has about 30 official chapters and by upholding their principles, new chapters can acquire a charter; the network is growing. In 2015, Black Lives Matter was on the short list for Time ‘s Person of the Year. The movement and its local chapters have garnered a wide range of responses to their collective call, from #alllivesmatter to the tragic events at Charlottesville, VA. Despite the counter-protests, Black Lives Matter continues to effect change and to introduce a vocabulary for confronting American society's various social ills.
Born out of a social media post, the Black Lives Matter movement has sparked discussion about race and inequality across the world. In this spirited conversation with Mia Birdsong, the movement's three founders share what they've learned about leadership and what provides them with hope and inspiration in the face of painful realities. Their advice on how to participate in ensuring freedom for everybody: join something, start something and "sharpen each other, so that we all can rise."