BLM Founders Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, and Opal Tometi

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BLM Founders Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, and Opal Tometi

Catalog Entry

The creation of Black Lives Matter started with three female Black organizers. Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, and Opal Tometi. They created this movement to help raise awareness for what is happening in the world by the number of deaths of Black people by law enforcement. Black Lives Matter. They will and always will matter. When we say ‘BLM’, it’s not to overrule everyone. Just because that is said, doesn’t mean that all lives don’t matter because they do. Soon after the “inception of the BLM movement, it was itself thwarted by baffling accusations of racism, often accompanied with the rejoinder: ‘All Lives Matter.’”(Shahvisi). In my opinion, I feel as if ‘ALM’ was created to overpower “BLM” as a form of “my life matters too.” Of course your life matters as well as everyone else's. The reason being is Black people and other people of color's lives need more attention because of what has happened to them. The police brutality, the racism as well as the murder of George Floyd, Trayvion Martin, and many others. It needs to be stopped. We are tired. I am tired of seeing my people being falsely accused and shot for no reason. Trayvion Martin was a 17 year old boy who was fatally shot by a neighborhood watchman named George Zimmerman. He was unarmed and Zimmermam claimed they had a physical altercation and used shooting Martin as self defense (Florida teen). How are you going to tell me you had physical contact with an unarmed boy and the first thing you do is whip out your weapon and fire as self defense. Self defense? No. He was 17. Do better. 

I personally feel like a lot of people don't really look into or understand sensitive topics like this because of how they were raised in school as well as by their parents. Opinions come in different forms and different perspectives. In history, most has been brainwashed to show people how things are supposed to be when they aren't. For example, there have been many things to symbolize America. Statues, memorials, museums. Those are used to remember people who did good for us and to remember things that have happened in the country to remember what they did. Now ask yourself this question. Why would people tear down statues of people that are for historic reasoning? Even though it's a materialistic “thing”, it symbolizes hatred. Edward Ward was a man of hatred. The statue was first put up by the work of American sculptor Nancy Cox-McCormack. Carmack was an opponent of Ida B. Wells encouraged retaliation for her support of the civil rights movement. He was in support of lynching Black people, people took it perosnal and as Black Lives Matter started coming towards the light, they decided to tear it down. The statue has long caused tension in Nashville. Why tear it down? Why bring this statue down if it’s just a statue? There have been many saying that ‘BLM’ is a terrorist organization group. That this group is angry and disrespectful (RYAN).Why do you think that is? They are tired and tired of their voices not being heard.

Standing up for a man who murdered black men out of his free will is sick. There are many statues that are like this as well. 

Take Christopher Columbus. Christopher Columbus relates to Edward Ward in the sense of keeping things to themselves to help their reputation. No one knew Edward Wards support to lynching, only that he was the face of civil rights. Christopher Columbus attempted to make a discovery that wasn't his, his own. When we were younger, what did teachers tell us that he did? Discovered America. All of us believed that it was true and he gained the power he wanted. It was all wrong. He stole the land from Native Americans. His voyages across the Atlantic paved the way for European colonization and exploitation of the Americas. This is another form of “white washed history”. Why are people so upset? People get credit for discoveries that they don't deserve credit for. It gets left in the dust and people praise others who are not supposed to be praised. 

Rosa Parks. She was the first black woman to fight to not give up her seat to a white man. That is what teachers taught you, correct? Wrong, she wasn't the first Black woman to give up her seat. It was 15 year old Claudette Colvin. The difference Between her and Rosa Parks is that Parks wasn't a 15 year old pregnant woman. She was deemed “inappropriate.” Rosa Parks was a better candidate because she wasn't a threat to younger people about how teen pregnancy was okay. This is what I mean when I say social media takes power over everything. How does that all make sense? So they gave it all to Rosa Parks. I didn't know that up until high school. I have never heard her story talked about personally. This can't just be left in the dust because it doesn't look good for the media. It needs to be out and open to the public to help and show people how realities like this don't just happen to one person.

This is why people have issues, this is why people are too afraid to stand up and talk about problems because they feel as if it wouldn't be as important if someone else does it. Black history is “American history.” But it’s saved for “Black History Month”. kids don’t receive the best possible education because we don’t always get the best books and curriculum. White women and men have done their Whitest duties to ensure they are in charge of what we all learn for better or for worse since always. Growing up, I've always had white teachers. Going to a predominantly white school was the case. I'm not saying for all but in my case it was. In history we learned about people, cultures, why people did what they did and how people have helped this country. But when are Black people mostly talked about? “Black History Month''. It's really just been throughout history class, but only in february. So that is why I feel when they talk about Black people it's usually because they need to be talked about and not because they want to talk about it. 

So when people of color, like myself get offended by certain statues or certain stories by people there is a reason. It's the history behind it. It's the significance that others feel pain while others see freedom that is just not there. People are supposed to feel united, not threatened. 

Bibliography

"Florida teen Trayvon Martin is shot and killed." A&E Television Networks, 2013, https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/florida-teen-trayvon-martin-is-shot-and-kille d.
Foley, Ryan J. “Police guide that calls BLM a terrorist group draws outrage.” AP News, 2 December , https://apnews.com/article/police-guide-calls-blm-terrorist-group-8dc0afce2ce6b60dbaa0 d1d9c5 3ce1e3.
"How Statues Are Falling Around The World." New York Times, 24 June 2020, https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/24/us/confederate-statues-photos.html.
Shahvisi, Arianne. “The philosophical flaw in saying “All Lives Matter." Prospect Magazine, 3 July 2020, https://www.prospectmagazine.co.uk/philosophy/black-lives-matter-essay-why -is-sayin g-all-lives-matter-wrong.

Catalog Entry Author(s)

Milardie Milard, Student, Fitchburg State University

ALFA Mentor

Joyce Hinckley

Citation

“BLM Founders Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, and Opal Tometi,” Cultural Heritage through Image, accessed October 7, 2022, https://culturalheritagethroughimage.omeka.net/items/show/189.

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