Give thanks and nuff respect to Opal, Patrice, and Alicia for being. And thanks to all of the chapter members and allies across the world for doing the work; prominently Black women leading the work. All of them lit a spark that grew into a movement. For those who haven’t heard. Three Black women from different cities and similar minds made up the term, hashtag, and movement called “Black Lives Matter”. In LA, Oakland, and NYC it started and spread to Florida, Missouri, and other states; each having their own unique fights. If you want to read the words of the founders I suggest reading the statements directly from their site and interviews in The California Report, Truth-Out, The Root, and Democracy Now. But, read from several sources to get the full picture. Some people cover the root causes and some people merely want to capture the “cool”.
In 2012 I remember it rising from frustration of being murdered by police with absolutely no consequences for taking of life. It came from the media’s misinforming the public about what happened and who BLM is. It comes from the state’s (city, state, and national governments) record of violence (physical, environmental, financial, and mental) on the lives of Black people all over the world. It came from turning that frustration into affirmation and saying yes we are here, we exist, and our lives matter. We’ve been facing it, struggling outside of the system, and going by the book. But when they finally had enough and stood up and said “no more” is when people started to take notice. Some people who understood joined in solidarity. Others, who simply don’t see why BLM activists couldn’t just wait, calm down, or whatever used thinly disguised racism to attack them.
And well this is simply for affirming their very existence black folks from Toronto, Cincinatti, Minneapolis, Chicago, San Francisco, New York, Sacramento, Pasadena, Philly, D.C., Cambridge, Denver, Boston, Tennessee, Texas, and other cities. For saying “no you can’t just oppress us” without a fight. For saying “Black Lives Matter”. What I admire most about the adults and youth doing the work is that they wont be categorized or placed in a neat box for older white conservatives or leftists to digest. They are changing the way we think, act, and act up. And they are not settling. Respect to the activists facing charges today, and those who stand up to the tired arguments that try to do everything but acknowledge the racism that exists overtly and covertly in our courts, classrooms, offices, police departments, banks, I could go on. The whole damn system is guilty.
Sources: Black lives Matter (site), Deomcracy Now (video), AJ+ (Video)