Understanding Black Lives Matter
You might have heard about Black Lives Matter and also want to get involved with protesting against racism.
Our autism friendly formats can help children and young people understand the Black Lives Matter movement. Here you can download our Black Lives Matter easy read and our Black Lives Matter visual story.
What is Black Lives Matter?
Black Lives Matter is a global organisation. They campaign to stop black people being treated differently because of the colour of their skin.
The Black Lives Matter movement aims to stop police brutality and end racial bias towards black people.
Black Lives Matter hold peaceful demonstrations. This is where people march on the street to show their support. Supports hold posters to share their views and experiences.
Black Lives Matter use a hashtag #BlackLivesMatter on social media which is used to show support for what Black Lives Matter campaigns for.
It is important that change happens to end racism.
Questions to consider to help you understand Black Lives Matter: Have you seen people use the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter? Did you go to any demonstrations? Can you think of examples where black people you know have been treated differently?
Why does Black Lives Matter exist?
In America, lots of black people have been treated differently because of the colour of their skin. Many people have died. This includes George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and Tamir Rice, who was just 12 years old. There are lots of others.
In the UK, black people are also treated differently because of the colour of their skin. Many people have died. This includes Stephen Lawrence, Olaseni Lewis and Shukri Abdi, who was also just 12 years old. There are lots of others.
People have decided to protest, raise awareness, and demand change.
Questions to consider that can help you understand why Black Lives Matter exists: Do you think Black Lives Matter is an important movement globally? How have people you know raised awareness about Black Lives Matter? What do you know about Stephen Lawrence?
What is police brutality?
When police use too much force or violence this is called police brutality. There have been occasions in America and the UK where the police have used too much force and people have died.
Questions to consider: How have police officers helped you in the past? Can you think of a recent example of police brutality in America or the UK? What do you consider to be too much force?
How can I support Black Lives Matters?
You can support the Black Lives Matter movement by being an ally and supporting anti-racism.
To do this it means you proactively choose to speak up for your rights and the rights of others. You can also do the following:
- Go to a peaceful demonstration or protest
- Write a letter to your MP asking what they are doing to support black lives matter. This template has been widely used.
- Learn about others’ experiences of racism
- Talk to people about how they feel
- Use the #BlackLivesMatter on social media
- Make space for black people to talk about their experiences without judgement
- Promote black people’s view
- Acknowledge how difficult racist events and experiences must be
- Continue to support the movement - sign petitions, make donations
- Read books written by black people to understand different points of view
Questions to consider: Have you, or people you know, supported the Black Lives Matter movement already? How will you continue to support Black Lives Matter? How can companies or large organisations support Black Lives Matter?