A Movement, Not a Moment
“This is a movement, not a moment.”
Though the school year has started and students are now directing their energy towards adjusting to school amidst a global pandemic, many students have also used their time to accelerate traction for a social justice campaign— Black Lives Matter.
This summer, the phenomenon of Black Lives Matter touched every crevice of this country. The unfortunate cry for help, “I Can’t Breathe”, became commercialized and even ignited a popular song from H.E.R.
On a daily basis, I receive compliments on my black, bedazzled “Black Lives Matter” mask when I walk the halls of the University of Miami. Some people even ask me where they can buy it. The same cannot be said for others around the nation who are faced with harsh consequences for “displaying an uncomfortable message of a political campaign” when wearing Black Lives Matter paraphernalia. Criticism has inevitably ensued following Black communities’ call for justice and protection in the form of mockery, threats, and ultimate insensitiveness.
However, there has been one major outlier between the protests from back then and now, and that’s the mass unity in both international and domestic recognition and support. One of the different scenes I’ve come to notice during my time in this year’s summer protests includes the diversity within the gatherings. A much larger and accepting human population than seen merely decades before; the crowds assorted with Black, Asian, Latino, and white individuals.
This new generation of Black activists have been quick, decisive, and powerful in their takedown of racist traditions and policies. The change that was before desired with boycotts is now demanded with the pressures of “cancel culture,” online threats, and social media petitions— all powerful in their own way.
Lauren Lennon and Rachelle Barrette
The Voice, Gravity Magazine, 2020