By: Alison Lucero-Simmons, Nikolasi Niumeitolu, De’zha Boynton, Gisell Bermudez-Camacho
Black Lives Matter is a movement that started following the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the shooting death of unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin. On February 26, 2012, 17-year-old Trayvon Martin was walking back from a 7-11 after having purchased an Arizona Ice Tea and a bag of Skittles, Zimmerman thought he looked “suspicious” and shot him, later relying on the stand your ground laws in the state of Florida to justify his actions.
This event sparked a nationwide reaction that would eventually manifest in the ever-changing Black Lives Matter movement. As police violence against people of color and racial inequity repeatedly came to light in the US the movement found itself called upon time and again in different circumstances. As the movement grew, and the needs also became more diversified a logical question emerged: what should the Black Lives Matter movement actually focus on? Was this to be a mass movement that addressed all sorts of racial injustice or would the movement be better served to narrow their field of vision on a particular source of racial injustice.
The focus of our project was to examine some of the options available to the movement and explore the rationale for choosing a particular strategy for the movement as it moves forward.