Last Updated 02 Jan 2023

BlackLivesMatter Movement: The Movements Creation, Expansion, Purpose and Effects

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The writing "A Herstory of the #BlackLivesMatter Movement” written by Alicia Garza, revolves mostly around the creation and expansion of the Black Lives Matter Movement. It explains deeply what the black lives matter community stands for and why they stand for it. They also directly persuade/ try to convince the audience to stand with them. They go into detail explaining multiple different reasons as to how and why the black community is treated differently than the white majority of this country. The creator of the black lives matter movement also explained that by quoting "black lives matter" they're not trying to say that other lives aren't important, but just that black lives are also important, although the black community seems to be looked over and treated poorly in many ways within today's generation and society.

The movement leaders say they don't have the intentions of offending other races, but in order for them to get the respect and treatment that they truly deserve, the focus must be put on black lives specifically and must be emphasized to the fullest extent. Unfortunately there have also been some extreme errors in this movement where as people are becoming violent and shooting police officers in retaliation to the officers shooting a black man or woman, it's happened in many states including Illinois, Kentucky, Texas, etc. The creators don't mention this directly in the writing but it is known through the news and media. The creators of this movement however do say that they have no intention to handle these issues with violence and they just want to be progressive successfully and they know violence is not the solution to this problem.

The author starts off the writing by automatically telling the tragic story of Trayvon Martin. Trayvon was unjustifiably murdered and then held at trial for his own murder, after he was already dead, and the police officer who shot and killed him just got to walk away from the whole situation without punishment. The author did this intentionally to get the audience's attention right off the back. Any sort of tragedy or crazy event will almost always catch the attention and interest of the reader of any kind of writing. People get hooked onto things like that and take serious interest in what people have say when it comes to things like this.

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This reading is strictly trying to get people to side with the black lives matter organization/ movement, and to make everyone aware and worried about the police brutality and all the other discriminating factors against the black community. The author of this piece is clearly trying to sway the audience to her side and her side only, there is no real sympathetic reveal for any other side in this matter. She strictly is only supporting her movement and wants others to do so as well.

So in order to get this outcome, Garza has given multiple different reasons claiming to support her side. In order to do so, she focuses mostly on what her groups movement is trying to make happen, and she focuses little on the mistakes some of them have made in the process, like shooting police officers back and killing them in retaliation. She brings up that there's been some mistakes by saying "progressive movements in the United States have made some unfortunate errors when they push for unity” (Garza, 136) but fails to mention exactly what those "errors" were. By doing this she leaves a huge gap and misses information that could and would definitely change a lot of opinions on the matter at stake. But then again, she did this intentionally. This is a tactic used to make sure the audience is more sympathetic to her side, and doesn't even give the audience a chance to really look at the other side of things.

Throughout the whole writing she's just giving reason after reason that the black lives matter movement should be supported and recognized. This story definitely does a really good job of convincing/ persuading the audience to sympathize with the black lives matter movement.

Something interesting that I also noticed throughout the text was that instead of referring to 'white people' as the problem, the author in turn consistently says "white supremacy", therefore meaning that white people are superior to those of all other races, specifically the black community. Referring to it this way definitely makes it a lot more eye opening and relatable to many people, but also could cause even more controversy. Mostly all white people are not happy at all about being referred to in such a way. But in order to get people's attention, the people of the black lives matter movement say and do things that may be harsh but realistic within today's society, and they only do so to try even harder to get their point across and to get others to help in their movement for equal rights. In this sense the author is using the repetition technique to get certain things nailed into the audiences head.

In order to keep any audience interested in reading a piece of writing, the author must target the emotions and feelings of the audience with information that will keep them intrigued. This author does so by bringing in a lot of cruel and brutal yet truthful information on how blacks in our generation are treated unfairly compared to those of other races, specifically the white race. Within the text there is a whole paragraph dedicated to explaining every way in which blacks are “deprived of their basic human rights and dignity”. She says “It is an acknowledgment black poverty and genocide is state violence. It is an acknowledgement that one million black people are locked in cages in this country- one half of all people in prisons or jails- is an act of state violence." (Garza, 135) and these are only two of the reasons she gives out of a paragraph that just keeps flowing and flowing with reasons that defend her side.

Something I also noticed that the artist does, is throughout the whole entire writing, every time the word "black" is said, she capitalizes it, every single time. The author does this in order to put a lot of emphasis on what she's fighting for all together. It draws people to really look hard at the word and to make them think more about it than they normally would if she hadn't capitalized the word every time it came up, this also shows the author's strong desire to make the audience understand and feel where she's coming from.

Another thing that stood out in this writing was the author's sense of desperateness to get her point across and to get her voice heard. The strong words she uses and the way she goes about using them in sentences seems to somehow bring out the real fear that this woman has for not only her safety but the safety of her community, her friends, and her family. As mentioned two paragraphs above, there was a paragraph that went very into detail with a very long list of all the ways in which the black community is deprived of their rights and or disrespected by the general police population. This paragraph also strongly shows the woman's innate inability to let these things go, it shows her fear and her frustration indefinitely and really brings emphasis to the whole situation itself.

The author also speaks directly towards the audience throughout a lot of the writing telling them directly what they need to do to help her fix her issue at hand. In the last paragraph she says "we are asking you, our family, to stand with us in affirming Black lives. Not just all lives. Black lives. Please do not change the conversation by talking about how your life matters, too." She directly states what she wants people to do and how she wants them to do it and the way she words it by saying "please", also seems to bring out the desperation she has to get help and to get the issues at stake fixed and ended for good.

Writers will do anything and everything to make sure that their writing appeals to and interests the audience that they are targeting. Some authors may use what seems to be defying acts of writing to get the audience to side with them (like the author not mentioning the shooting of police officers in retaliation) but sometimes, in order to get a larger point across, things must be swayed and worded in a certain way to really get people's attention and or to get people to focus on the bigger issue at hand. The matter that this author, Alicia Garza, was arguing and defending is very clearly a topic that she holds close to her heart and would fight for any day, and that is to be assumed due to the tireless effort and detail she put into her work to defend her issue.

This essay was written by a fellow student. You can use it as an example when writing your own essay or use it as a source, but you need cite it.

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