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All the history, media and links you need.
Published: 09/06/2020   Author: Melanie Eden
Design: Courtesy of Alex Aperios.
Black Lives Matter was founded on July 13, 2013 following the acquittal of George Zimmerman, one of the many white Americans who have murdered black Americans with no reason or motive.

His victim was Trayvon Martin, a 17-year-old boy who attended high school in Florida. Trayvon once had dreams of playing professional football, though this dream subsided when he began high school and favoured a career working with airplanes.

Since the death of Trayvon and the founding of the movement, we have seen countless deaths of innocent and unarmed black people at the hands of the police. We have seen protest after protest, yet, the only thing we aren’t seeing is change; and this change is long overdue.

Here, I will give a brief history the BLM movement, the deaths at the hands of police brutality, and provide a number of different medias to keep you informed on the importance of this movement, how it affects more countries than America, and how to protest in the middle of a pandemic.

BLACK LIVES MATTER – 2013 / 2016

JULY 2013: George Zimmerman is acquitted of all charges; BlackLivesMatter begins trending on Twitter. Three black women founded BLM: Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors and Opal Tometi.

JULY 2014: Protests in NY erupt after the death of Eric Garner, a 43 year old father who was choked to death by a police officer. As he died, Garner told the officer ‘I can’t breathe’, which then became a key phrase of the BLM movement.

AUGUST 2014: BLM organised their first in person protest in the form of a Freedom Ride. This came after the death of Michael Brown, an 18-year-old black man shot by a police officer.

500 people attended the Freedom Ride and the protest gained massive media attention; with Palestinians offering advice to the protestors on how to protect themselves and deal with tear gas.

Protests continued as the police brutality continued, with another unarmed shooting occurring only two days after the death of Michael Brown; this time it was Ezell Ford, a mentally disabled man who was simply walking the streets of Los Angeles.

OCTOBER 2014: Further protests erupt after the shooting of Laquan McDonald, a 17 year old boy who had refused to drop a 3 inch knife. He was shot 16 times in 13 seconds.

NOVEMBER 2014: Possibly the youngest victim of police brutality; Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old boy is shot for having a toy gun. Tamir passed the next day after being shot twice in the torso, yet the Cleveland Jury brings no justice and files no charges against the officers who murdered Tamir.

APRIL 2015: Freddie Gray runs in fear from police in Baltimore. He is arrested for having what the police described as an illegal switchblade. Freddie requests an inhaler upon arrest, his request is denied and he is placed in the police van without restraints, during this he falls into a coma. One week later, Freddie passes due to a severe injury to his spinal cord.  

Protestors take to the streets to demand justice for Freddie, but the National Guard is unveiled and ends the protests.

JULY 2015: 28 year old Sandra Bland is pulled over and taken into custody. A few days later, Sandra dies in custody due to a supposed suicide. Sandra’s mug shot is posted online and outrage sparks, as she is believed to have been already dead in the images. There was also a lack of a side view mug shot, something that is essential when taking these images.

There was a small protest outside of the jail that Sandra passed in, with protestors raising the question ‘What happened to Sandy?’

NOVEMBER 2015: Police shoots Jamar Clark, aged 24, in the head. Some say he was already handcuffed at the time of his death. No charges are filed against the police officers who were guilty of this mans death. Following this, BLM protests outside of Fourth Precinct police station for 18 days.

Just days after the death of Jamar, Akai Gurley is shot dead in the stairwell of a Brooklyn apartment. He was 28.

JULY 2016: Alton Sterling, aged 37, is pinned to the ground and shot five times in the chest. Major protests kick off once again with little to no repercussions for the murderers. The police call for calm.

One day after Alton’s passing, Diamond Reynolds livestreams to Facebook the results of police brutality, as her partner, Philando Castile, is shot in front of her and her daughter. The officer pleaded not guilty of manslaughter and endangerment of Diamond and her young child.

The following day a peaceful protest for the lives of the two previously lost is interrupted by a gunman, resulting in the deaths of five policemen.
Photo: Courtesy of Keiser Clark.

Since these events, we have seen countless police brutality acts and seen countless victims add up. After the recent passing of George Floyd, there have been more protests in America and many, many people are now involved in making the right changes and making black voices heard. However, if you aren’t in America, you may feel like you are useless to the movement and that you cant help. This isn’t true. Everybody can help and everybody can be an ally.

Maybe you don’t feel informed enough, and maybe that makes you feel like you shouldn’t speak up, however, you always should.

Here, I will provide some media to help you get informed on the history of unfair treatment of black people in history, the BLM movement and police corruption.


Sometimes it’s easier to learn from things such as movies and songs, which is why I comprise a short list to help give you a strong idea of how police brutality affects black communities, how you can help and how together we can stop this.

Photo: Courtesy of Empire.

Following the story of a young man named Collin, played by Daveed Diggs, who witnesses the death of an unarmed black man at the hands of a police officer.  Collin is on probation and fears returning to prison, so feels he must keep quiet about the situation. Doing this, he becomes overly aware of the gentrification taking place in his hometown, Oakland, and how different the world is for white people in black communities.

Photo: Courtesy of Movies Anywhere.

Starr Carter, played by Amandla Stenberg, witnesses a fatal shooting.

Prior to this, Starr was facing two worlds, the mostly all white, rich high school she attends and the poor black neighbourhood she comes from. Starr faces a challenge of standing up for what is right, and not feeling fear from her white peers.

LA92 (2017)
Photo: Courtesy of the NYT.

This documentary recaps on the events of March 3 1991, where author and activist Rodney King was violently beaten by LA police.

Following this traumatic event; riots broke out after the police officers that attacked Rodney were acquitted of their crimes.

16 SHOTS (2018)
Photo: Courtesy of Democracy Now!

In this documentary, we learn further about the death of Laquan McDonald, afore mentioned victim of police brutality.

Here, we delve deep into the minds of police who commit these vile acts and learn about the day of Laquan’s passing.


Times like these call for us all to come together.

Whether you are protesting, posting, donating or anything else, it is important to voice your support and use your privilege (if you are white) to help those who need us, and to lift out black brothers and sisters up.

Tagged are two master links with donations, missing people, ways to help, bail funds, black businesses to support, ways to support the families of those who have passed and how to donate if you don’t have money.

Master Link I

Master Link II


Protests won’t last forever, especially with Trump calling in military and promoting violence against protestors. So what happens when all this has died down? When Instagram feeds are filled with musicians and makeup artists once more?

What happens is police brutality is still very much existent, and black people are still very much in danger of losing their lives due to the racism deeply embedded in many countries. So how do we continue supporting when protests and media attention are gone?

We remember the victim’s names. We tell their stories. We support black businesses. We raise our black brothers and sisters up. We call out racism from our family, our friends, our co-workers or from people we hear in the street. We stop letting it slide. We use our voices for those who can’t use theirs until they aren’t seen as less important as ours.

Change takes time and patience, but it also takes hard work and education. We must be informed on what we are doing and why we are doing it. Change will come, but it won’t come easy. We all must work to make a better world.  Together.

Design: Courtesy of Sacrée Frangine.

In remembrance of all police brutality victims. Rest In Power.



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