The Matter of Black Lives

Jelani Cobb in The New Yorker:

The phrase “black lives matter” was born in July of 2013, in a Facebook post by Alicia Garza, called “a love letter to black people.” The post was intended as an affirmation for a community distraught over George Zimmerman’s acquittal in the shooting death of seventeen-year-old Trayvon Martin, in Sanford, Florida. Garza, now thirty-five, is the special-projects director in the Oakland office of the National Domestic Workers Alliance, which represents twenty thousand caregivers and housekeepers, and lobbies for labor legislation on their behalf. She is also an advocate for queer and transgender rights and for anti-police-brutality campaigns.

Garza has a prodigious social-media presence, and on the day that the Zimmerman verdict was handed down she posted, “the sad part is, there’s a section of America who is cheering and celebrating right now. and that makes me sick to my stomach. we gotta get it together y’all.” Later, she added, “btw stop saying we are not surprised. that’s a damn shame in itself. I continue to be surprised at how little Black lives matter. And I will continue that. stop giving up on black life.” She ended with “black people. I love you. I love us. Our lives matter.”

More here. (Note: At least one post throughout the month of February will be devoted to Black History Month. The theme for 2022 is Black Health and Wellness)