Edited: February 23rd, 2022
I’m not a journalist by trade. I will attempt to be as objective as I can. I would like to share the factual timeline of events that produced the #BlackLivesMatter movement. It runs counter to what is being reported in the media and shows that the founder(s) of #BlackLivesMatter is BlackLifeMatters.org / @BlkLifeMatters.
I would rather have a news outlet pick this up, but a friend told me I might have to be the journalist.
March 24th, 2012 – First “#BlackLivesMatter” event
Jason Kandel and Jesse Gary (March 25th, 2012), “Hundreds March in Hollywood to Protest Trayvon Martin Shooting” NBC Los Angeles NBCUniversal Media, LLC, Sunday, (Retrieved August, 25th, 2015 archived February 23rd, 2022)
BlackLifeMatter.org is prominently displayed at a protest in Los Angeles.
March 24th, 2012 – First 19 Mentions of #BlackLifeMatters on Twitter (Retrieved August, 25th, 2015 and archived February 23rd, 2022)
April 11th, 2012 – NOTE: This was the first mention of #BlackLivesMatter when I retrieved it in 2015, but it’s no longer verifiable with an advanced Twitter search and I didn’t archive the Tweet
First Mention of #BlackLivesMatter (an organic transformation) on Twitter (Retrieved August, 25th, 2015): Verifiable with Twitter Advanced Search.
August 20th, 2012 – First verifiable mention of #BlackLivesMatter (Retrieved and archived on February 23rd, 2022)
July 16th, 2013
First Mention of #BlackLivesMatter by opal tometi (@opalayo) on Twitter (Retrieved August, 25th 2015 and archived February 23rd, 2022)
First Mention of #BlackLivesMatter by Alicia Garza (@aliciagarza) on Twitter (Retrieved and archived February 23rd, 2022)
July 17th, 2013 – First Post on Tumblr (Retrieved August 25th, 2012)
Note from February 23rd, 2022: Patrisse Cullors’ Twitter account was deactivated when I was researching this in 2015. The best I could find was a Google Cache which no longer exists. Her username at that time was @osope.
Examples of the “founders” of #BlackLivesMatter stressing the importance of getting credit for work.
“However, the female founders of #BlackLivesMatter do struggle with one issue that will resonate for many women: failing to claim credit for their impressive achievements.”“Founders of #BlackLivesMatter: Getting credit for your work matters”. Fortune Magazine. Zarya, Valentina (July 19, 2015). Retrieved July 20, 2015.
“The Theft of Black Queer Women’s Work”
“[W]e began to come across varied adaptations of our work–all lives matter, brown lives matter, migrant lives matter, women’s lives matter, and on and on. While imitation is said to be the highest form of flattery, I was surprised when an organization called to ask if they could use “Black Lives Matter” in one of their campaigns.”
“I was surprised when they […] justified their actions by saying they hadn’t used the “exact” slogan and, therefore, they deemed it okay to take our work, use it as their own, fail to credit where it came from…”
“We completely expect those who benefit directly and improperly from White supremacy to try and erase our existence. We fight that every day. But when it happens amongst our allies, we are baffled, we are saddened, and we are enraged. And it’s time to have the political conversation about why that’s not okay.”
“When you adopt the work of queer women of color, don’t name or recognize it, and promote it as if it has no history of its own such actions are problematic. When I use Assata’s powerful demand in my organizing work, I always begin by sharing where it comes from, sharing about Assata’s significance to the Black Liberation Movement, what it’s political purpose and message is, and why it’s important in our context.”
“When you adopt Black Lives Matter and transform it into something else (if you feel you really need to do that–see above for the arguments not to), it’s appropriate politically to credit the lineage from which your adapted work derived. ““A Herstory of the #BlackLivesMatter Movement” blacklivesmatter.com Garza, Alicia
“[I]t’s appropriate politically to credit the lineage from which your adapted work derived”. I agree! This is why I think the founder(s) of blacklifematters.org should be included in the history of the #BlackLivesMatter movement.
Edits from February 22nd, 2022:
- Corrected first mention of #BlackLivesMatter on Twitter by Alicia Garza and archived tweet
- Removed quote from this article.
- Added quotes from “A Herstory…”
- Minor edits
- Archived more pages