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"I feel like the Black Lives matter movement has never disregarded the fact that everyone's life matters, but a lot of people who say things like 'All Live Matter' have never been told their lives don't matter. I think Black History Month is really important and a time where we celebrate black history. Black history is American history."

Student View: What is the importance of the Black Lives Matter movement?

Black Lives Matter

Balck Lives Matter started as an online campaign to preach racial equality and bring awareness to police brutality to African Americans. The campaign started in the summer of 2013, after George Zimmerman’s acquittal for the shooting death of the black teenagers, Trayvon Martin. The movement began with the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter and has grown into organized protests and marches against many racial issues.

The Controversy

Many have come to criticize the movement as “inherently racist” and claim it only advocates for one race. Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani said that Black Lives Matter is “inherently racist” and divides people and worsens racial tensions. U.S. perception of the movement is even further dived by race, with a 2015 poll from Pew Research Center  finding that 59% of black Americans thought that Black Lives Matter would “be effective, in the long run, in helping blacks achieve equality” and 34% of white Americans thought so.

 What do students think?

Paige Rapisarda, Senior

"I feel like the Black Lives matter movement has never disregarded the fact that everyone's life matters, but a lot of people who say things like 'All Live Matter' have never been told their lives don't matter. I think Black History Month is really important and a time where we celebrate black history. Black history is American history."

Stephanie Zhang, Senior

"Personally, I prefer hearing 'All Lives Matter' because I think Black Lives Matter is more of a subset of 'All Lives Matter.' It's important to address the issues going on in the black community, but I think Black Lives Matter deals with only that specific area. I hope in the future the movement grows to cover more subsets like 'Hispanic Lives' and more. I think [All Lives Matter] is necessary because there are a lot of negative stereotypes and prejudices held in the U.S. and we need awareness to respect people's individual rights."

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