Progress for Black Lives Matter


Photograph courtesy of Jace King

Image of students at the 2020 Prairie Protest

Of the many movements that have recently become stronger and more widespread than ever, the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement has evolved the most by enacting change for Black individuals and every race as a whole. The major goals of BLM are focused in many different areas. There’s focus on freedoms for minorities within the Black community, such as the LGBTQ community. There’s also focus on a global level, such as addressing the human trafficking of Black individuals.

Some of the more general goals, however, include equal respect and foundation of opportunities on behalf of Black individuals nationally and internationally. These goals were disrupted a great deal by the events of 2020, with many hurdles placed in the way of real progress. The most difficult task was protecting the rights of Black people within the criminal justice system.

The abuse and mistreatment of Black individuals by the police force has been a longstanding issue. However, the outrage of the public generated by George Floyd’s death has encouraged technological advancements and a sense of urgency regarding this issue. To put it into perspective, there were a total of   Black people, just by existing, are a target for police brutality and frequently punished for questioning the devastation of this reality.

Thankfully, the growth of the movement has been massive. With the media being used as a method of distribution for people to witness these horrific acts of brutality against Black Americans, the world has been made aware of the issues. There have been pushback and protests to promote the issue, especially shedding light on some brutalities that didn’t wind up being recorded or witnessed.

The best way that we, as UIS students, can help inspire further change is by one simple task – say something! Using our voices will allow us to slowly but surely draw more attention to the circumstances that don’t seem to be getting any better for the Black community. Beyond encouraging the further discussion of these matters, this will also grant us an opportunity to be a part of something greater than ourselves and ultimately change the course of our future.