Black Lives Matter

April 2, 2021

Black Lives Matter

How a hashtag evolved into a movement.

“Black people. I love you. I love us. Our lives matter.”

Alicia Garza on Facebook after the acquittal of George Zimmerman, who killed unarmed Black 17-year-old Trayvon Martin during an altercation. Garza said she wrote the post in response to a range of feedback on the verdict from other Black people. A hashtag in the comment section followed: #BlackLivesMatter


  • Who: Founded by three women – Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, & Opal Tometi. Alicia wrote a Facebook post, Patrisse responded with the hashtag and Opal bought the domain name.
  • What: Initially to form an online community to raise awareness and fight anti-Black racism in America, specifically to combat prejudice in the criminal justice system.
  • When: 2013.


“Black Lives Matter Foundation, Inc is a global organization in the US, UK, and Canada, whose mission is to eradicate white supremacy and build local power to intervene in violence inflicted on Black communities by the state and vigilantes.”


  • 2014: the founders traveled to Ferguson, MO after a police officer shot and killed unarmed Black 18-yr-old Michael Brown during an altercation.
  • In Ferguson, the founders met with other community organizers & the Black Lives Matter Global Network was born.
  • 2016: #BlackLivesMatter became one of the top social-issue Twitter hashtags in the world.

“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.”

Co-Founder Patrisse Cullors on whether Black Lives Matter is anti-White.


  • Black Lives Matter Global Network: 40-chapter member-led organization in the U.S., U.K. and Canada.
  • The Network’s aim is to organize and intervene when violence is inflicted in black communities.
  • The charitable arm, Black Lives Matter Foundation, supports “the ongoing fight to end State-sanctioned violence, liberate Black people, & end white supremacy forever.”
“We have been fighting and advocating to stop a war on black lives.”

Co-Founder Opal Tometi in a recent interview calling “police brutality” the “spark point” for the Black Lives Matter movement that’s expanded to include quality of life issues: “housing and education and health-care systems and the pandemic and what we are seeing there. So for us it has been more comprehensive than just the criminal-justice system and policing. It’s bigger than that.”

“Do Black lives really matter to ‘Black Lives’ or is it just an agenda pushed by the Liberal Left?”

Arizona State Rep. Walt Blackman, a Black Republican, speaking to Black conservative radio host James T. Harris in a series of recent interviews. Blackman called Black Lives Matter a “terrorist organization” that doesn’t address “major issues in the Black communities” such as crime, the disproportionate rate of abortions by Black women, and low high school graduation rates among Black men.

The first person to use the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter on Twitter is reportedly Dr. Marcus Anthony Hunter, PhD, in 2012. On the the power of social media, Dr. Hunter, chair of African-American studies at UCLA, said, “…we should never underestimate the power of generating a conversation.”

LEARN MORE: One interview with each founder of Black Lives Matter

A Black Lives Matter Co-Founder Explains Why This Time Is Different

Q&A: A founder of Black Lives Matter answers a question on many minds: Where did it go

Why Is This Happening? Remembering why Black Lives Matter with Alicia Garza: podcast and transcript

Here’s a recent conversation led by the “inventor” of the hashtag “Black Lives Matter”: CLICK HERE

Here are the interviews with Representative Blackman:

Here’s a link to Black Lives Matter: CLICK HERE

by Jenna Lee,