Former student Seth Reavis holds a sign in support of the Black Lives Matter Movement during the student led demonstration at D..H. Hill Library on December 5, 2015. Hundreds acted in protest to raise awareness and voice disappointment in the justice system regarding the deaths of Mike Brown, Eric Garner and countless others at the hands of police. | NUBIAN MESSAGE ARCHIVES
BEN ASSEFA | Correspondent
Jasmine Cannon. NCSU Student: Q: Do you know what the phrase “Black Lives Matter” refers to? A: Yes, Black Lives Matter is a contemporary social movement created to combat social injustices that occur frequently, but not exclusively in the black community. Q: Where do you think the misinterpretations for this movement stems from? A: I think the misinterpretation surrounding the Black Lives Matter movement stems from the belief that black empowerment, like white supremacy, is rooted in hate. However, black lives matter supporters know that the movement actually stems from self and community love. Q: What does Black Lives Mean to you? As an African American student, being at a PWI, in the United States, etc.? A: To me, black lives matter means exactly what it says. It means that it’s been a longer standing narrative across the globe to devalue those lives and now there’s affirmation that narrative is false.
Austin Louthan. NCSU Student. Q: What does the phrase “Black Lives Matter” mean to you? A: My best definition of BLM would be Referring to a lot of the inaction that’s coming specifically from police brutality and to try and reemphasize that BLM when alota the times the Judicial System isn’t taking the right steps to show that. Q: What do you think is the biggest factor in what’s causing these misinterpretations? A: I’d say that the msi is coming from the the way the news or things on the television, or even a social network; It’s the media as a whole. I feel like we’ve gotten to a point where it’s almost polarizing to be on “this side” or you have to be on “that side”. Beroski Hugley. Shaw University
Q: Where does the phrase “Black Lives Matter” come from? A: That stems from all the police brutality recently. But it goes back so much farther. Black lives around the world are looked down upon, while facing the toughest battles, wherever you go. It’s so tragic, because black lives really do matter and the world isn’t realizing it.
Q: What are misinterpretations that you’ve heard about “Black Lives Matter”? A: An equivalent to White Power. It’s not. That’d be like trying to equivialte the KKK to the Black Panthers. It’s not the same.
The power of the hashtag, has never been more influential, than it has in this generation of online New Millennial’s and modern day bigots.
Following the onslaught of lives lost, by one form of systemic brutality or another, the steady rising number of deaths of African American’s was reaching a breaking point in the composure of the people taking these tragic deaths to heart.
One particular individual who felt the waves of loss, dating back to the Trayvon Martin trial, is Alicia Garza; The originator and founder of the phrase “Black Lives Matter”. In an interview with USA Today, Garza describes her original thoughts and state of emotions, upon watching the verdict of George Zimmerman, and witnessing in horror as the system once again turns a blind eye to the clear cut murder, of a young African-American.
In a moment of sadness, and compassion, Garza heads to Facebook and makes a post that brought upon the strongest unification of the African diaspora, since The Black Panther founder, Stokely Carmichael, coined the phrase “Black Power.”
Despite it’s poetically appropriate wording, the truth behind its meaning becomes distorted by those who either oppose, or simply aren’t aware of the meaning. The Republican Party, for example, quite often aim to “demonize” the Black Lives Matter agenda, as the New York Times describes in it’s article piece on the truth behind “Black Lives Matter”. Between Governors from areas such as South Carolina, Wisconsin, and Kentucky, find the movement to represent hateful propaganda such as anti-white, hating, organizers. These outdated ideologies make the fervent passion and yearning for justice that makes the cause and movement that much more unrestrained, unrested, and unapologetically just. Unfortunately, it is difficult to separate the two and therefore cluster the naive and the ignorant, in the same manner that the contrasting connotation of the controversial phrase is often times intertwined.