BLACK LIVES MATTER! BLACK LIVES MATTER! BLACK LIVES MATTER! BLACK LIVES MATTER!… From social media to the streets, #BlackLivesMatter is a hashtag that can no longer be avoided. Not only is it a popular hashtag, it started as a movement to the disenfranchised. However, there has been some recent debate about whether the movement of Black Lives Matter is really helping the lives of black people. There has also been some rhetoric and/or disdain towards it and towards people who chant “All Lives Matter.” So what should people do that want unity say?
Let’s take a short trip back in history. In the late 70’s, American television was becoming the norm for all lives. Parents, children, and neighbors would sit around their tv with their tv trays and dinners to tune into their favorite show. However, there was an underrepresentation of people of color. There were very few actors, producers, and/or networks that were truthful about the portrayal of people of color.
To meet the demands of this unfortunate feat, a young man, by the name of Robert L. Johnson, created a network called Black Entertainment Television, better known as BET. The timing couldn’t have been better. After launching in the early 80’s, BET was a network that people of color could relate to and feel appreciated by watching.
One can only imagine that Mr. Johnson probably had some people, white and black, who questioned why he would name a network “Black Entertainment Television”. In his defense, which he probably doesn’t need, the reason to create a network dedicated to people of color, mainly black, was to empower the people. It was to show America, that we (I am black) can be just as creative and/or more creative as our white counterparts. We can go toe-to-toe with any other actor, producer, and/or network and produce great results.
Fast forward to the present, Black Lives Matter is here to stay until ALL people can see that we matter. It’s not about dividing or separating cultures. It’s about empowering black lives. So the next time, you find yourself or others questioning whether or not you should join in with the movement, let a resounding YES come to the frontal part of your brain. The Black Lives Matter movement suggests that you can get involved by contacting a local chapter, making a donation, making a purchase (of merchandise), and/or finding resources and actions. Choose one or more; let’s make this world a better place.