Black Lives Matter

Posted by on Jan 15, 2017 in Community, Peacemaking, Prayer | 0 comments

Black Lives Matter

Most of us have heard and watched reports about activities carried out in the name of Black Lives Matter. Some have participated. Others have observed with varying degrees of sympathy or concern. Right now, in the midst of our national celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s life and legacy, it may be appropriate to examine whether Black Lives Matter is building upon the same spiritual foundation laid by Martin over 50 years ago.

The Creation of a Movement

In the words of Alicia Garza, co-founder of Black Lives Matter:

I created #BlackLivesMatter with Patrisse Cullors and Opal Tometi, two of my sisters, as a call to action for Black people after 17-year-old Trayvon Martin was post-humously placed on trial for his own murder and the killer, George Zimmerman, was not held accountable for the crime he committed. It was a response to the anti-Black racism that permeates our society and also, unfortunately, our movements.

Black Lives Matter is an ideological and political intervention in a world where Black lives are systematically and intentionally targeted for demise.  It is an affirmation of Black folks’ contributions to this society, our humanity, and our resilience in the face of deadly oppression.

Sometimes it’s better to just quote the founders and let people discern and make up their own minds rather than trying to compare or persuade. The following are further quotations about the Guiding Principles of Black Lives Matter taken directly from the BLM website, which you are encouraged to visit, study, and draw your own conclusions from:


We are unapologetically Black in our positioning. In affirming that Black Lives Matter, we need not qualify our position. To love and desire freedom and justice for ourselves is a necessary prerequisite for wanting the same for others.


We are guided by the fact all Black lives matter, regardless of actual or perceived sexual identity, gender identity, gender expression, economic status, ability, disability, religious beliefs or disbeliefs, immigration status or location.


We are committed to building a Black women affirming space free from sexism, misogyny, and male‐centeredness. “Freedom, by definition, is people realizing that they are their own leaders.” Diane Nash


We are committed to making our spaces family-friendly and enable parents to fully participate with their children. We are committed to dismantling the patriarchal practice that requires mothers to work “double shifts” that require them to mother in private even as they participate in justice work.


We are committed to disrupting the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure requirement by supporting each other as extended families and “villages” that collectively care for one another, and especially “our” children to the degree that mothers, parents and children are comfortable.


We are committed to fostering a queer‐affirming network. When we gather, we do so with the intention of freeing ourselves from the tight grip of heteronormative thinking or, rather, the belief that all in the world are heterosexual unless s/he or they disclose otherwise.


We are committed to embracing and making space for trans brothers and sisters to participate and lead. We are committed to being self-reflexive and doing the work required to dismantle cis-gender privilege and uplift Black trans folk, especially Black trans women who continue to be disproportionately impacted by trans-antagonistic violence.

A very recent video posted by co-founder Opal Tometi

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *