Sunday, June 7, 2020

Some Background on the Black Lives Matter Organization

Opal Tometi , Alicia Garza and Patrisse Cullors
With the ever-increasing prominence of the Black Lives Matter movement, it makes sense to take a look at the group.

Black Lives Matter was founded as an organization in 2013 in response to the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the killing of Trayvon Martin.

The organization was founded by three women, Patrisse Khan-Cullors, Alicia Garza and Opal Tometi.

Cullors, according to the Balck Lives Matter website, is a queer black woman and a Fulbright scholar. She is a board member of the Ella Baker (see below) Center for Human Rights. She is the 2018 recipient of the José Muñoz Award from CLAGS: The Center for LGBTQ Studies at the CUNY Graduate Center.

Garza is currently the Special Projects Director for the National Domestic Workers Alliance. The alliance is "the nation’s leading voice for dignity and fairness for the millions of domestic workers in the United States."  She is of mix-raced with a Jewish father and a black mother.  According to the Black Lives Matter website, she also is a queer black woman.

Tometi is a New York-based Nigerian-American. She is credited with creating the online platforms and initiating the social media strategy during the project's early days. She has spoken at the Aspen Institute's Ideas Summit and she is co-author of When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir.

She is a student of liberation theology and her practice is in the tradition of Ella Baker, informed by Stuart Hall, bell hooks and Black Feminist thinkers. Baker was an important behind the scenes black activist for five decades. She was allied with The Third World Women's Alliance, a revolutionary socialist women of color organization active from 1968 to 1980.

Hall was a Jamaican-born British Marxist sociologist and political activist. He was founder of the New Left Review and was closely associated with the journal Marxism Today.

hooks is considered a postmodern political thinker. She has held positions as Professor of African-American Studies and English at Yale University, a hotbed of postmodernism and critical theory teaching.

Tometi is being featured in the Smithsonian’s new National Museum for African American History and Culture.

The website informs that Black Lives Matter attempts to...
 disrupt the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure requirement by supporting each other as extended families and “villages” that collectively care for one another, especially our children, to the degree that mothers, parents, and children are comfortable.
We foster a queer‐affirming network. When we gather, we do so with the intention of freeing ourselves from the tight grip of heteronormative thinking, or rather, the belief that all in the world are heterosexual (unless s/he or they disclose otherwise).
We cultivate an intergenerational and communal network free from ageism. We believe that all people, regardless of age, show up with the capacity to lead and learn.
In other words, Black Lives Matter is an organization that appears to be promoting an agenda that goes far beyond the protection of members of the black community against police brutality. Its website says as much.

Further, the radical, anti-capitalist, left-leaning of the founders of the organization hints at the potential for the organization to move even further beyond what the organization name suggests. Perhaps a more appropriate name would be: Communism for Blacks Matters.

The ladies of BLM appear very sophisticated when it comes to tactics and strategy. Finding a hot button, such as police attacks on blacks, would make a very wise tactical move to advance a deeper agenda of a planned society.



  1. "...disrupt the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure..."

    Isn't this one of the biggest problems with African-Americans today? That, on the whole, there is no 'nuclear family structure' in place, leading to generational poverty and continued out-of-wedlock births?

    At least on this front, Black Lives Matter could simply disband because that part of their agenda was achieved a long time ago, long before they ever came into existence.