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ENGL314: BLM - The Evolution of a Hashtag: Key Actors/Leaders

Student-created guide on the Black Lives Matter Movement for ENGL314: The Rhetoric of Social Movements (Spring 2021).

Alicia Garza

Alicia Garza on the beauty and the burden of Black Lives Matter | Black  Lives Matter movement | The Guardian

"Black Lives Matter has come to signify a new era of black power, black resistance and black resilience. For black folks, this is our renaissance."

  • Civil Rights activist
  • Writer - The Purpose of Power: How We Come Together When We Fall Apart
  • Co-founder of Black Lives Matter movement

Trayvon Martin

Trayvon Martin postmortem reveals traces of drugs in 17-year-old's system | Trayvon  Martin | The Guardian

"What are you following me for?"

Trayon Martin, 17

February 26, 2012

  • Above are his last words
  • Shot in Sanford, Florida by George Zimmerman
  • Was visiting his father's fiancée with his father at her townhouse
  • His death prompted Cullors, Tometi, and Garza to create the Black Lives Matter hashtag

Patrisse Cullors

BlackLivesMatter Co-Founder Patrisse Cullors on Its 6-Year Anniversary |  Teen Vogue

"We can feel sad, hurt, demoralized. But we can't give up."

  • Artist and Author
  • Activist - BLM, Prison Abolition, LGBTQ, and more
  • Co-founder for Black Lives Matter movement
  • Created the #BlackLivesMatter hashtag

Michael Brown

Michael Brown Jr.'s Sisters Remember Their Brother on the Fifth Anniversary  of His Police Shooting Death – StoryCorps

"I don't have a gun. Stop shooting."

Michael Brown, 18

August 9, 2014

  • Above are his last words
  • Fatally shot by Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Missouri
  • Was accompanied by his friend Dorian Johnson
  • Prompted the Ferguson unrest from August 9th - 11th 

Opal Tometi

Opal Tometi - Wikipedia

"When we say 'Black Lives Matter,' we're not saying that any other life doesn't matter. That has never, ever been our message. Our message has always been from a place of love."

  • Human Rights Activist
  • Writer
  • Community Organizer and Strategist
  • Co-founder for Black Lives Matter movement
  • Former Executive Director of the Black Alliance for Just Immigration

George Floyd

Body camera footage of George Floyd's arrest is being made available for  public viewing by appointment | KTLA"Please, please, please. Please, I can't breathe."

George Floyd, 46

May 25, 2020

  • Above are his last words
  • Murdered in Minneapolis, Minnesota after Derek Chauvin kneeled on his neck for almost 10 minutes
  • Prompted the Minnesota protests that have been ongoing since May 26, 2020
  • Protests have spread nationally and globally in support of BLM