Black Lives Matter started back in 2013 as a social media hashtag, after George Zimmerman was acquitted for Trayvon Martin’s shooting death.
Co-founded by Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, and Opal Tometi, BLM has quickly become an important international activist organization. Speaking out against systemic racism and violence towards black people is the mission of BLM.
While Black Lives Matter continuously increases in popularity, there are some details about it that many might be unfamiliar with.
Do you know these Black Lives Matter statistics?
There are more than 40 Black Lives Matter chapters throughout the world
Most Black Lives Matter chapters are in the U.S. However, did you know there are chapters located in England, Australia, Canada, and Ghana as well?
According to the Black Lives Matter official websites, there are more than 40 BLM chapters out worldwide.
15 US states have Black Lives Matter chapters
The US states with chapters include: Alabama, California, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Ontario, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Washington. Plus, there’s a BLM chapter located in Washington DC.
California is the state with the most chapters (4), followed by Illinois, New Jersey, and New York with 2 chapters each.
The Black Lives Matter hashtag has been used on Twitter nearly 30 million times in the last 5 years
The BLM movement began on social media and it has thrived on it as well. A Pew Research Center study released in 2018 revealed that the hashtag has been deployed approximately 30 million times on Twitter alone. The timeline is for the study is between July 2013 and May 1, 2018, which means an average of 17,002 times per day.
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On June 19, 1865 Union soliders arrived in Galveston, Texas to inform remaining enslaved Africans that they were free from bondage. Today, we celebrate our ancestors’ #freedomday and commit to continue our collective fight for dignity and liberation. #juneteenth #independenceday #blacklivesmatter
A petition wanted to label Black Lives Matter a “terror” group
In 2016, an online petition that deemed BLM activists terrorists was submitted to the White House. It attracted over 140,000 signatures in two weeks.
Because the document received more than 100,000 signatures, the White House was automatically prompted to offer a reply.
In their response, the “We the People” team mentioned that designating domestic terror organizations is not a role the White House plays. They added the U.S. government doesn’t generate domestic terror organizations lists.
As a result, the formal request of the petition wasn’t addressed. In addition, the White House prompted those who signed the petition to consider President Obama’s call for compassion towards Black Lives Matter.
In an interview with The Economist, BLM co-founder Alicia Garza said that calling Black Lives Matter a “terrorist organization” couldn’t be further from the truth.
She also added, “Not only are Black Lives Matter activists not terrorists but fundamentally what we are trying to do is point out the failings in the basic premise of the founding of this country, that there would be liberty and justice for all. We are pulling back the curtains on really despicable deeds.”
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This #MothersDay, @tyesani + @BlkLivesMatter create for a seven-piece art series for Trayvon Martin’s mother, @SybrinaFulton. Letter: R “I was inspired by the movement that galvanized around Trayvon's untimely death and wanted to portray Trayvon and his mother Sybrina as the leaders of that movement, with the "R" in Trayvon's name also representing the Resistance — to an unjust justice system and to state-sponsored violence.” – Hasani Tyus, www.hasanityus.com #DearTrayvonsMom
Black Lives Matter was depicted in 4 television series
So far, Black Lives Matter has appeared in Law & Order: SVU, Scandal, Empire, and Black-ish.
An episode of Black-ish highlights that awful conversation that often takes place in black households throughout the country in the aftermath of police shooting an unarmed black man.
BLM is the first organization that has been awarded the Sydney Peace Prize for activism
In 2017, the Black Lives Matter Global Network received the Sydney Peace Prize. The prize recognizes international voices that promote nonviolence, peace, and justice. This is the first time a non-person (an organization) got this award.
Black Lives Matter received this prize for inspiring people to stand up and demand for equality and human rights. Thus, reminding the entire world that authentic democracy has the power to achieve justice and change.
For a movement that has only been around for five years, these are some impressive stats!