Written by Racial Justice Hub Teen Ambassador Aysha Nunes

Do you know the history of Black Lives Matter (BLM)?  BLM is a movement that began after the murder of Trayvon Martin in 2017 where his killer was publicly acquitted. The phrase “Black Lives Matter” has enabled more open communication about an excessive force against minorities. BLM has become an easier conversation due to international protests, as it becomes more popular all over social media, a common theme for street art and general conversation, especially after 2020. In 2020, Black Lives Matter became more widespread, well understood, and diverse than it’s ever been before.

After over 400 years of the mistreatment of black individuals in America being missed, toned down, and swept under a rug, the movement seems to finally have gotten the international spotlight it deserves. Many people believe that the stress of the 2020 pandemic caused “enough to really be enough”. Incidents were broadcast all over social media, eventually reaching national news.  Groups that are usually ignored have finally been getting heard.

It all started with a young woman named Breonna Taylor who still has not received justice. In early March 2020, Louisville police thought that Breonna’s boyfriend was selling drugs and guns so they raided her home, shooting her numerous times. It turned out that police were looking for her estranged ex, but it was too late. Pictures from her social media feed of her as a hard-working nurse and girlfriend flooded the internet after she was killed by undercover police. Two months later, another black life was recklessly devalued by state police.

Later that summer, George Floyd was senselessly murdered for nine minutes on camera under a white officer’s knee for using a counterfeit $20 bill at his neighbor’s corner store. Shortly after George was killed, “get your knee off my neck” became a popular line as other mothers whose sons were paralyzed or murdered in this same position by police officers started to speak out as well. Riots broke out in cities across the United States and there were international protests demanding justice for not only George and Breonna, but for every life taken too soon by the hands of a white person in power.

Please encourage teens to join our Racial Justice Hub – a weekly virtual gathering led by teens across the world.  Our Hub is working now on a Racial Justice Arts Challenge and also a teen-led workshop on Implicit Bias.  For more info email us at info@globalcolab.net