Black Lives Matter or Black Men Matter: Gender and the Movement for Freedom

The Black Lives Matter movement was founded in 2013 in response to the exoneration of Treyvon Martin’s murderer. Exhausted by the cruelty and injustice which black people face from the system, the organization was built on the principles of inclusivity, acceptance, improvement, and humanity in order to “eradicate white supremacy and build local power to intervene in violence inflicted on Black communities by the state and vigilantes.” However, the overt and repeated lack of recognition towards Black female victims – and even for its three queer, black, female founders – begs the question of whether this movement is truly about all black lives, or rather just black male lives.