Imagery via Erin Schaff, The New York Times News Service



Planetary transitions and alignments have guided people in the past revolutions and will guide us as we enter this new age. With the powerful resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement this year, the age of the Aquarius heralded its arrival!

Black Lives Matter, a non-profit organization that gained popularity following the 2014 protests against police brutality in Ferguson, Missouri, became Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation Inc. in 2017. This year, the outrage over Floyd’s death on May 25 turned into protests calling for an end to police brutality and injustice in the United States. The tireless protests of Americans became a worldwide movement. Solidarity protests shook the United States in June after Floyd’s death by the police, and then the whole world. Although the name of Black Lives Matter has been heard before, this one is very different; bigger, more widespread, and most surprisingly white people took as many protests as black people. The protests that started for solidarity later turned into their own social movement became especially prevalent in Western Europe, where immigrants and minorities of African and Middle Eastern origin still struggling with the effects of colonialism in many countries faced systematic inequalities.

Imagery via Victor J. Blue, The New York Times News Service

President Donald Trump has left the presidency by losing the second election, but there is more Black Lives Matter is determined to achieve! Gen Z’s brave and unyielding spirit became the greatest saviour of the peace and prosperity of the American people. The high percentage of both sides voting in the 2020 elections shows two things: the strength of the movement and the need to progress. During the summer protests, with an increase in the register of black people to vote, hundreds of thousands of people signed up to vote. In other words, these oppressed people brought their fight from the streets to the ballot box and said enough is enough!

Black Lives Matter was founded in 2013 by three black women named Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, and Opal Tometi. These three powerful women decided to pursue a quieter strategy for change: trying to avoid what they saw as the mistakes of the Civil Rights Movement, they remained silent and used social media to make it easier for local activists to take action. The 2020 US elections clearly showed the strength of this strategy, as black, Latino, and young voters took roles in various local organizations throughout the voting process, ensuring that the election was fair. Activists inherited this tactic from the women before them. The victory of the African American Civil Rights Movement with the Voting Rights Act in 1965 was successful thanks to the works of women such as Ella Baker and Fannie Lou Hamer. In 2020, as in the 60s, black women were at the heart of the Democratic Party’s success. In addition to Kamala Harris being the first female vice president, a total of 130 black women senators, including almost 100 on the Democratic side, will participate in the congress. Another protagonist of this election was the democratic politician and activist Stacey Abrams and the Fair Fight movement she led. Since 2016, along with other organizers, she has made Georgia a swing state by having nearly one million additional voters, two-thirds of POC, registered to vote.

Studies show that discrimination continues in many American cities and hinders the development of predominantly black communities. BLM aims to eradicate anti-blackness and create a society in which black people can thrive, according to its website. “We live in a country built to keep us out of the resources we need,” said Kailee Scales, Managing Director of the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation.

Imagery via Malike Sidibe, TIME

In May and June, even very large companies posted for the first time supporting the BLM movement. The BLM posts we see on Instagram, the reading lists that will enable us to learn about racism, the support protests… These are all great but we cannot talk about a radical change unless these movements are combined with great political solidarity efforts. When gay black women like Marielle Franco are murdered in Brazil, when sex workers like Robyn Montsumi are killed in police custody in South Africa, and black trans people like Kiki Fantroy are killed in the US, we should demand the same response from governments, corporations, and international organizations.

The first step of this change will only be taken when we don’t treat systemic racism as “bad events that sometimes occur” in the USA, and begin to destroy and rebuild the already broken system. If we don’t take real steps, we will return to where we started with another outcry, and our solidarity protests will become meaningless over time. Stay tuned for Episode 3.