• Talking about Black Lives Matter and #MeToo

    Mehrsa Baradaran, Noa Ben-Asher, Lolita Buckner Inniss, Bennett Capers, Bridget Crawford, Linda Greene, Osamudia James, Keisha Lindsay
    MSU Law Faculty Repository
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    In her remarks to the 1971 National Women's Political Caucus, civil rights leader Fannie Lou Hamer described the quest for individual freedom as coextensive with the pursuit of liberation for all people.2 Almost fifty years later, this belief undergirds the work of the Black Lives Matter and #MeToo movements. Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, and Opal Tome, three self-described "radical Black organizers,"3 founded Black Lives Matter in response to the 2012 death of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed 17-year old, shot and killed by a selfappointed neighborhood "watch" coordinator in a gated community. The shooter claimed that Martin looked suspicious and that he fired the gun in self-defense against Martin.4 People took to the streets in response to the deaths of Martin and then others, as the general public could no longer ignore the number of Black men and boys killed by police each year-men and boys including Eric Garner (Staten Island, New York, 2014), Michael Brown (Ferguson, Missouri, 2014), Tamir Rice (Cleveland, Ohio, 2014), Walter Scott (North Charleston, South Carolina, 2015), Freddie Gray (Baltimore, Maryland, 2015), Laquan McDonald (Chicago, Illinois, 2015), Philando Castille (Falcon Heights, Minnesota, 2016), Terence Crutcher (Tulsa, Oklahoma, 2016), Antwon Rose II (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 2018), and O'Shae Terry (Arlington, Texas, 2018).5 Activists have established chapters of the Black Lives Matter organization in other cities throughout the United States.6 #BlackLivesMatter is a frequent hashtag on social media. Black Lives Matter shines the light on the pattern of killings.7 It is a racial justice movement with a goal to "transform the state."8
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