The Black Lives Matter Movement (2013- )

The Black Lives Matter Movement has grown into the largest black-led protest campaign since the 1960s. While specific goals and tactics vary by city and state, overall the movement seeks to bring attention to police violence against African Americans and in particular the use of deadly force against mostly unarmed civilians. While the issue of police brutality and unnecessary deadly force has been a focus point of black anger and frustration through much of the 19th and all of the 20th centuries, the violent death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin at the hands of neighborhood watch captain George Zimmerman in 2012 galvanized various efforts into a single national movement.

This page which begins with an article by Professor Herb Ruffin describing the founding (and founders) of the movement. The entries that follow identify incidents both before and after 2012 which have inspired the activism of Black Lives Matter members and supporters.

We at know this is an incomplete list. While we are aware of at least sixty other names that should be included and are constantly adding profiles, we ask your help in identifying and writing profiles of these and other individuals not yet covered. If you are interested in contributing to this list, please contact us at

Black Lives Matter: Founding a Movement

Berry Lawson Case, 1938
Latasha Harlins, 1991
Abner Louima, 1997
Amadou Diallo, 1999
Sean Elijah Bell, 2006
Oscar Louis Grant III, 2009
Trayvon Martin, 2012
Eric Garner, 2014
Michael Brown Jr., 2014
Tamir Rice, 2014
Sandra Bland, 2015
Freddie Gray, 2015
Walter Lamar Scott, 2015

Related Pages:

Racial Violence in the United States Since 1660
Lynching in the United States Since 1865
Race, Crime, and Incarceration in the United States