If hashtags were rings, this would be the one ring to rule them all. Created, along with a chapter-based, national organization, Black Lives Matter was led and coined by three powerful women activists. Patrisse Cullors, Opal Tometi, and Alicia Garza were the forces behind the tag that ascended to Twitter royalty, and set it up as an “…online forum intended to build connections between Black people and our allies to fight anti-Black racism, to spark dialogue among Black people, and to facilitate the types of connections necessary to encourage social action and engagement.”
The tag went beyond Twitter and made its presence known across other dominant platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Tumblr. Its message is simple, yet it is missed by so many in the world, from the well meaning, to the straight-up bigoted. It forced a society that likes to lie to itself to confront the racist realities that color its soil. It forced people to snap out of their post-racial America dreams, where all the yards are mowed and white picket fences are the fences of choice.
What really made the tag powerful, however, is that it continued to live on far after it was started. It remained on feeds throughout the year and onwards, teaming up with other monumentally important tags like #TamirRice and #SandraBland or #SayHerName. It has become a tool, which social media users may add to show that they support the collective movement, and, y’know, a country where our justice system isn’t grossly, statistically slanted. (Note: Numbers tend not to lie but ad hominem arguments against #BlackLivesMatter organizers and protesters tend to.)