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Demonstrators march through downtown Atlanta to protest the shootings of two black men by police officers, Friday, July 8, 2016. Thousands of people marched along the streets of downtown to protest the recent police shootings of African-Americans. Atlanta Police Chief George Turner and Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed said earlier in the day that people have the right to protest this weekend but urged them to cooperate with law enforcement. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Black Lives Matter – Unpacking a Social Movement

Chimwemwe Manyozo*


People mobilisation is a common tool used to challenge state authority. In the United States (U.S.), since 2013, people have joined Black Lives Matter marches in different states to challenge police brutality. More than 1,030 protest actions have been held in the name of Black Lives Matter. Following Jesse Williams’ speech at the 2016 BET awards, and the recent death of Philando¬†Castile and Alton Sterling, Black Lives Matter has taken centre stage again, reviving the conversation on mainstream and social media. This paper¬†unpacks Black Lives Matter as a social movement by tracing back the definitions of people’s mobilisation and social movements.