The Black Lives Matter Movement and its Effect on Racism Today.docx

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Running head: BLACK LIVES MATTER The Black Lives Matter Movement and its Effect on Racism Today Tiffany S. Longsworth University of South Florida Composition II ENC1102 1
BLACK LIVES MATTER Abstract This research paper will explore the Black Lives Matter movement. To understand the movement, one must understand the history of racism in America. As well as what started the movement and how Black Lives Matter has affected America today. Many Americans believe that the movement is nothing more than the Black Panthers movement. Many believe it is violent and racist on its own. What many people fail to understand is that this is a nonviolent movement made to bring justice and attention to the lives of black people because lately, they have not mattered. After the deaths of Trayvon Martin, Sandra Bland, Tamir Rice, and Michael Brown, black people realized that their lives do not matter. That black people are being shot with their hands up, mass incarcerated, and given harsh punishments versus what a white man would get. Black Lives Matter does not mean that they are the only lives who matter, it means that America is repeating history and black lives are in danger. 2
BLACK LIVES MATTER The Black Lives Matter Movement and its Effect on Racism Today Trayvon Martin was shot and killed by a neighborhood watch member in 2012. This was after Zimmerman, the gunman, called the police because Martin looked “suspicious” in a hoodie. The authorities told him not to pursue but he did anyway and it resulted in the death of a seventeen- year-old boy (Botelho, 2012). This is what led Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, and Opal Tometi to create the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter. The hashtag went viral, was printed on T-Shirts, and written on signs for the marches that took over America. In a TedWomen presentation with the three women, Tometi stated, “We need this because the global reality is that black people are subject to all sorts of disparities” (2016). The truth is, black people are still being discriminated against and treated differently due to the color of their skin. Black Lives Matter is a movement put in place to bring attention to the lives of black people in America. It is a more than a hashtag, but a movement to bring power to the voices of those who are being targeted daily and is affecting racism in many ways. The History of Racism In order to understand racism today, understanding the root of racism against black people in America is necessary. In the 1560s, Africans were brought to America. Slavery spread like a plague infecting most of the south. (Cole, 2017). In 1865 slaves were freed and the thirteenth amendment was put into place. Although slaves were freed, this did not end the horrors that they endured due to the color of their skin. Cole states, “Between 1876 and 1965, a number of Jim Crow segregation laws were passed that enforced segregation in all public places.” (pp. 100). Jim Crow allowed for further discrimination, like black people not being able to vote or having to give up their seat to a white person. In 1966, a group called the Black Panther party rose to fight 3

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