The Evolution and Impact of the Black Lives Matter Movement

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Origins of the Black Lives Matter Movement

The Black Lives Matter movement began in 2013, following the loss of life of Trayvon Martin, an African-American teenager who was shot whilst walking to a family friend’s residence, and the following acquittal of George Zimmerman, the police officer who shot him. The phrase’ black lives matter’ was first used in a Facebook submission by Garza after Zimmerman was cleared of all charges against him and became the inspiration for the campaign. The movement fast collected tempo, with interest and momentum spiking on every occasion a Black person was killed as a result of an altercation with the police.

In 2014, Black Lives Matter protested against the deaths of numerous Black and African-American people. Each non-violent protest and riot were observed, much of which was completed beneath the banner and hashtag of “Black Lives Matter.” In response, co-founder PatrisseCullorsorganised the Black Life Matters Ride, which gathered a meeting of 600 people and sparked the founding of more localized Black Lives Matter groups and the promulgation of the campaign into a network.

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Broadening Scope: From Police Brutality to Social Injustices

The year 2015 noticed another spate of Black people being killed by enforcement officers in the USA, including Walter Scott, Freddie Gray, and Meagan Hockaday. Black Lives Matter protested against these and many more. They also organized protests to spotlight the injustices and other problems confronted by Black women and Black LGBT communities.

Continued Activism and Expanding Influence

In 2016 Black Lived Matter organized many protests against police brutality directed towards Black people. The ones whose deaths occurred due to police actions in conjunction with Deborah Danner and Alton Sterling. In 2017, Black Lives Matter placed on their first artwork exhibition timed to coincide with Black History Month in Virginia, US. It featured the work of over 30 Black artists and creators.

Rise in Global Awareness and Solidarity

By May 1st, 2018, a study observed that the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter was used nearly almost 30 million times on Twitter since the first instance in the year of 2013. In February 2019, the rapper 21 Savage was arrested and detained by the ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement)in the US. Cullors convened a collection of 60 high-profile stars from the music and entertainment worlds to advocate for his release. In May, a teenager, Isaiah Lewis, was shot by police and killed in Oklahoma. Days later, Black Lives Matter held a 100-sturdy rally in protest of the incident. Major protests were sparked at the end of May, followed by the loss of life of George Floyd in Minneapolis in 2020. Black Lives Matter went on to organize protests around the world.


  1. “About Black Lives Matter”. Black Lives Matter.
  2. McKesson, D. (2016). “On the Road with the Black Lives Matter Movement”. TED.
  3. The Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation. (n.d.). “Our Herstory”.
  4. Burch, A. (2020). “How Black Lives Matter Went Global”. The New York Times.
  5. Cullors, P. (2021). “When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir”. St. Martin’s Press.

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The Evolution and Impact of the Black Lives Matter Movement. (2023, Aug 15). Retrieved from

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