Who can forget the senseless murder of Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida, on February 26, 2012? Although in these perilous times, many may forget to speak his name, this tragedy at the hands of an egocentric neighborhood-watch volunteer looms in our history not solely to signal a renewed awareness of violence against Black people in America but also to mark the beginning of the Black Lives Matter movement. Although this named movement is less than ten years old, the meaning and origins behind the urgency of Black Lives Matter can be traced historically, even without uttering the specific words “Black lives matter.” In fact, one could argue that the Black Lives Matter movement has only put into words what has been publicly and privately discussed and explicated by many notable African American figures throughout history.

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