The USA, a state founded on forcefully expropriating land from its Native American inhabitants and exploiting that land using slave labour, has always had a problem with institutionally embedded racism and state violence aimed at maintaining the power of the wealthy.
In 2012 #BlackLivesMatter was started by Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors and Opal Tometi as ‘a call to action for Black people’ after 17-year-old Trayvon Martin was posthumously effectively placed on trial for his own murder. The killer, George Zimmerman, was not held accountable for the crime he committed. In 2014 demonstrations followed the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, St. Louis and Eric Garner in New York City. George Floyd’s death, made public by a cell phone film is the endless continuation of state violence against people of colour. Posting a black screen on Instagram shows worldwide solidarity but may not be all we should be doing wherever we are. Let’s make fighting racism a political project everywhere and, as #blacklivesmatter says, let’s take ‘the hashtag off of social media and into the streets.’
Directed by Peabody and three time Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Laurens Grant
“Stay Woke: The Black Lives Matter Movement” is an original documentary film that chronicles the evolution of the Black Lives Matter movement through the first person accounts of local activists, protesters, scholars, journalists and others
Stay Woke: The Black Lives Matter Movement documentary (2016), 38: 57
Kandace Montgomery, who participated in some of Thursday’s protests, is executive director of Black Visions Collective, a Black-led, queer and trans-centering community organization based in the Twin Cities in Minnesota.
Minneapolis organizers: “Defund the police and invest in community”, 2:29
* being open source or obtained from a permitted uploader to either YouTube or Vimeo