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One of the co-founders of Black Lives Matter explains that she never expected the civil rights movement to become as monumental as it has.
Peacock’s upcoming documentary “Use of Force: the Policing of Black America” features interviews with numerous individuals who are fighting injustice and police brutality, including Alicia Garza.
Garza, along with Opal Tometi and Patrisse Cullors, first coined the phrase Black Lives Matter in 2013, USA Today reported. It was created after George Zimmerman was acquitted in the killing of Trayvon Martin. Cullors is executive director of the Coalition to End Sheriff Violence in L.A. Jails. Tometi runs the Black Alliance for Just Immigration.
Garza, who is also special projects director for the National Domestic Workers Alliance, told USA Today that the Black Lives Matter movement is intended to gather people "so they can connect offline and actually do something in their communities.”
It was something that Garza had already been doing in her own community.
In “Use of Force,” Garza reflected that after attending college she returned to her hometown of Oakland, California where she hoped she could make a difference. There, she began doing advocacy work with organizations that fought against police brutality. She said she spent a decade organizing in San Francisco and more than five years in Oakland before taking on a more national cause.
“No, I did not know that Black Lives Matter would become the force that it is today although I certainly want to say it was something that I wished for, but couldn’t see beyond my own faith that it could happen and my own determination that we should try it," she explained.
She said that she, Tometi and Cullors created the platform for people so people could “do more” than be angry on social media.
On their site, they say their “mission is to eradicate white supremacy and build local power to intervene in violence inflicted on Black communities by the state and vigilantes.”
They have organized some of the most impactful protests following police-involved shootings in recent history. Many of the hundreds of protests that erupted following the killing of George Floyd in 2020 were organized under the Black Lives Matter banner. Black Lives Matter has since become one of the biggest social justice movements in modern time. In fact, the New York Times reported last year that the movement may possibly be the largest in American history.
“Use of Force: the Policing of Black America” debuts on Friday.
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