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In four years, Black Lives Matter went from a hashtag about social injustice to a full-fledged global civil rights movement.
Metro spoke with Patrisse Cullors, who cofounded Black Lives Matter with Alicia Garza and Opal Tometi in 2013, about its evolution, fighting racism in the age of Trump, her upcoming memoir and what saying “all lives matter” really means.
Misconception - People - Black - Matter
What is the biggest misconception you find people have about Black Lives Matter?
Patrisse Cullors: That we just started a hashtag. That it isn’t a sophisticated set of ideas that would lead to a larger strategy to build out, a powerful network. That Black Lives Matter is every black organization — we are one of many black-led organizations across the country. That Black Lives Matter only cares about black people in America.
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Someone - Matter - Lives
How do you feel when someone counters “black lives matter” with “all lives matter?”
You definitely don’t care about black folks if you say “all lives matter.” We all know that all lives matter, that’s a very obvious take, but what people are missing when they refuse to say “black lives matter” is that black folks have the shortest end of the stick — they have historically, and they do currently. Until we address and end black racism, we are not going to see the freedom of all human beings.
Do you think America will ever be racism-free?
I do — if we remember that the popular vote did not get Trump in office. That’s a great sign. Will it be in my generation or my child’s? I don’t think so, but many people didn’t think we’d see a black president, and we did.
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