NEWS: Black Lives Matter protests happening across the United States

The Black Lives Matter movement is currently playing a big part across the United States and the world. Black Lives Matter (BLM) is a movement to promote civil rights for Black and African American people.

 The Black Lives Matter protests have occurred in major cities, including Baltimore and Washington D.C. It has also come to small towns and suburban areas, like Columbia and Ellicott City, Maryland.

The Black Lives Matter (BLM) organization was founded in 2013. According to the Black Lives Matter website, the hashtag was created “in response to the acquittal of Trayvon Martin’s murderer.” Martin was a 17-year-old African American high school student who was fatally shot in Florida by George Zimmerman, a white man. 

The Black Lives Matter Foundation has grown into “a global organization in the US, UK, and Canada, whose mission is to eradicate white supremacy and build local power to intervene in violence inflicted on Black communities by the state and vigilantes” (blacklivesmatter.com). 

Recently, the BLM movement has grown even more widespread, after outrage when a 46-year old African American man named George Floyd was killed in police custody on May 25. 

NPR.org reports, “Derek Chauvin, the officer captured on camera kneeling on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes, was charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder and manslaughter. He remains in custody on $1.25 million bail.” 

According to NBC News, “Chauvin was arrested and faces murder and manslaughter charges for kneeling on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes. All four officers were fired by the Minneapolis Police Department on May 26.” 

The Black Lives Matter movement could be the biggest protests in U.S. history, with more than 4,700 BLM demonstrations occurring around the country this summer.

According to CNN, “Anti-racist protests continue to spread across the US and globally, with growing calls to defund police departments and takedown historic statues.” 

Many students have opinions about the Black Lives Matter movement. Natalie Morris, age 12, a student at Burleigh Manor Middle School (BMMS) said, “The protests seem alarming, but I know that they play a crucial role in forming this country’s future.” 

Sebastian Thomas, age 14 also a student at BMMS added, “I think they are protesting to change this country’s way of thinking.”

If you are interested in learning more about BLM, you can visit blacklivesmatter.com. The website says, “Join the Movement to fight for Freedom, Liberation, and Justice by signing up for updates, supporting our work, checking out our resources, following us on social media, or wearing our dope, official gear.” 

You can also sign up there for updates on special launches, network actions, programs, partnerships, and more at the site.

A woman marches to the White House at the head of a group of members and allies of the LGBTQ community as part of the Pride and Black Lives Matter movements on June 13, 2020, in Washington. Official Pride events were canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic but people showed up to lend support to the Black Lives Matter movement. Photo courtesy of CNN