Love it or hate it, the Black Lives Matter movement has been the most prolific social justice effort since the Negro civil rights era. People around the world and especially donors in the U.S. saw the movement (BLM) and the organization (Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation/BLMGNF) as solutions to The Negro Problem. With the Black Lives Matter organization in the news again, we know that unfulfilled hope came with a heavy price tag. Neither the typical critic nor the average supporter knows the difference between BLM and BLMGNF. The failure of BLMGNF and defaming of BLM were made possible by a mix of confusion, denial, and irresponsibility.
The Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation is one of, if not the, most funded “black-run” non-profit organizations. The murders of Black people in America spurred the donations and energy for the movement. Though money poured in, it’s clear people did not know what BLMGNF was going to do about anti-Black racism, how they were going to implement change for racial equity specifically, nor how they planned to focus the mission and sustain positive impact related to racism exercised by authorities. Yet, in the wake of multiple killings of Black Americans, individual and organizational donors worldwide desperately outsourced the leadership of making Black lives matter — instead of doing the work themselves. BLMGNF received an economic boon and levels of name recognition other locally led and native Black American organizations die for and never receive.
Local grassroots activism and social media generated the energy that propelled BLMGNF into prominence.
The BLM hashtag (#BLM) was some of the most effective and — for the average social media user — unintended free marketing for an organization.
How effective was social media in advancing BLM and BLMGNF?
Though folks debate the necessity of the BLM movement and differ in their understandings about its priorities, people around the world are familiar with the expression “Black Lives Matter.” The rally…