On January 1st 2009, Oscar Grant, an African-American man was unlawfully killed by a BART police officer. On July 15th 2015, Sandra Bland, an African-American woman was found hung in a cell after being arrested with no cause by police officers. On July 17th 2014 Eric Garner, an African-American man was killed during a chokehold by an NYPD police officer.
From the enslavement of Africans to police brutality, anti-black racism has been an issue that has plagued our world for a very long time. Consistently, a pattern has occurred in which black people have been abused, marginalised and have fallen victim to the white supremacist world we live in. And it seems recently, society has regressed in the continuous battle for the abolishment of racism.
However, amidst the chaos, black empowerment movements have always arisen. For example, the creation, of the Hip Hop subculture which was formed in order to break down racial barriers and give a voice to many African Americans and Puerto Ricans living in New York.
But now there is #BlackLivesMatter which was a movement created in 2012 to promote the liberation of black people. The hashtag has taken social media by storm and has been raising awareness of the struggles black people face today with its use being very popular during the Baltimore protests when a black man was beaten by police officers eventually causing his death.
Nevertheless, #BlackLivesMatter is more than just a hashtag. It is a movement that supports the whole of the black community including, those who are women, are disabled and fall under the LGBTQ+ spectrum.
We also see black empowerment engrained in popular culture, so remember that when Kanye West is rapping ‘I am a God!’ it is because he refuses to yell ‘I am a slave!’ And that when Beyoncé sings ‘I love my baby’s hair and afros’ it is because she knows the beauty of her skin colour.
And, finally, remember we should all be trying to fulfil Martin Luther King’s dream. #BLACKLIVESMATTER
Here at AGGS, we believe that all lives matter and we support the empowerment of marginalised groups who do not otherwise have a voice.