How The Power Of Memes Can Help Explain The Black Lives Matter Movement


If you've been living in 2020, you know that it's been a hell of a year. If you're a time traveler and you're currently reading this, every other meme out there will tell you to turn back to wherever you came from.

Yes, memes. When you're searching for the perfect words and can't find them, there's probably a meme out there that will do the trick.

Black Lives Matter was founded in 2013 as a response to Travyon Martin's murderer being acquitted, so it's not something new to the year 2020. However, after George Floyd was killed by police in Minneapolis on May 25th, 2020, the movement surged back into the media in a big way.

Even amidst a worldwide pandemic (thanks 2020) the entire nation — and the entire world — took to the streets to protest against systemic racism and the killing of innocent black lives by the police. 

If you've gone on social media, watched the news, or spoken to a human being, you know that there is an enormous amount of dialogue around this long-term issue. 

Some are taking to Instagram, some are taking to Youtube, some are taking to marching in the protests. As always, memes have a distinctive way of letting people express the nuances of the issue.

On June 2nd, 2020, a huge number of social media users participated in a collective protest. They posted a black square on their social media, using the hashtag #BlackOutTuesday. The day was intended to allow minorities to speak up while others listened to their stories. Some accounts stayed on pause for an entire week.

Memes have the ability to succinctly express what might indeed take a few paragraphs of explanation to say otherwise.

For example, the above sign pretty much simply sums up all you need to know about the year 2020.

Or this one:

Memes, as we know, are highly shareable. That means you might have seen similar images going around:

And you, or others, can easily share them. This is a way to help explain the movement to others, especially those who might skim longer paragraphs or otherwise not take the time to dig more deeply into the matter.

This yearbook quote is way better than the average, "Thanks mom and dad." And on top of that, it proves a point in an easily digestible snippet of text that takes seconds to read. 

Many are even taking over hashtags they find problematic, such as BlueLivesMatter, in a counter-strike effort. 

The return on these hashtags are being flooded with unrelated pictures, or direct points of opposition that play up the irony of the situation. These memes are digital demonstrations, another way to participate on top of marching in the real world.

How else could you explain this?

And no one can debate: The Simpson's has predicted every event in the entire world.

Because of their quick impact and easily understood message, memes can uniquely get a point across in a short amount of time. So no matter how many things are going on out there (and it's a lot), a meme is often the perfect avenue to grab someone's attention.

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