The women behind the #BlackLivesMatter are showing their support for the people protesting police brutality in Baltimore.
It may seem like the #BlackLivesMatter movement sprang up last year amid the demand for justice in Michael Brown and Eric Garner’s deaths at the hands of police, but it’s been around much longer than that. Opal Tometi, Patrisse Cullors and Alicia Garza started it back in 2012, after George Zimmerman was acquitted in the death of Trayon Martin.
Since then, there’s been a seemingly endless stream of stories about cops (whether officially trained or volunteer force) getting entirely too rough with Black people–often times resulting in death. With a new wave of protest rolling through Charm City in the aftermath of Freddie Gray’s death, the ladies felt compelled to encourage demonstrators in their push for humane treatment by police.
In a statement they released to The Huffington Post, they started out by expressing that their movement is nationwide.
Do not be afraid. There is an uprising happening in Black communities across the country. This moment is necessary and has been on its way for a long time now.
Today, our hearts swell with the same current of love that coursed through the veins of those who faced the billy clubs and tear gas in Selma, Alabama. The same current of love that demanded the citizens of Watts in 1965 be treated with dignity and respect. The same current that fueled our young hearts enraged as we saw police abuse go unchecked in April of 1992. This current of love has planted itself into the streets where Mike Brown was slain in Ferguson, in Chicago with the death of Rekia Boyd, and has begun to produce ripe fruit.
We are lovers. We refuse to allow our brothers spine to break in the dark without the song of our grief being heard. There are those who do not acknowledge that our rage is a symptom of our grief, a symptom of a society that has all but left us for dead. Their narrative is ahistorical and disconnects us from our legacy of demanding justice.
We stand in solidarity with the people of Baltimore and the millions of black people across the country who are tired of poverty, racism and state sanctioned murder.
Black people, we are fully deserving of the room and space to fully express our humanity. This is what Black Lives Matter is truly about. We support all of our emotions, from our bliss to our anger to our grief. All of it is welcome, as this is what it means to be human, to love and to lose those that we love so much. We acknowledge that our uprisings are being fueled by the love we have for ourselves and for one another. A love that challenges silence, repression and death.
The ladies also created an image to show their support in a more succinct manner: