Nearly seven years after its launch, the Black Lives Matter movement has the potential to receive the world’s most coveted award.
According to a report for USA Today published Saturday (Jan. 30), Norweigian member of parliament Petter Eide nominated the social movement for the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize. Eide said that Black Lives Matter continues the legacy crafted by others before it like the Civil Rights Movement in the U.S. and the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa. He also asserts that the group’s message has been heard not only in the U.S. but also internationally especially in Europe and Asia.
“To carry forward a movement of racial justice and to spread that to other countries is very, very important. Black Lives Matter is the strongest force today doing this, not only in the U.S. but also in Europe and in Asia,” Eide told USA Today.
#BlackLivesMatter was founded in 2013 as a critical response to the acquittal of George Zimmerman, the Florida man who claimed self-defense when he shot and killed Trayvon Martin. Since then, the hashtag evolved into an organization that has fought to eliminate white supremacy and intervene in violence that plagues Black communities everywhere. Black Lives Matter protests erupted all over the country every time police officers in any state took the lives of Eric Garner, Sandra Bland, Alton Sterling, Freddie Gray, and countless others.
Black Lives Matter’s message began to hit harder during the Trump era. By the time Trump was inaugurated in 2017, the movement had supporters in all 50 states. Over the years, its impact was felt from the West coast all the way to our nation’s capital.
Last year, a Black Lives Matter mural had been added to 16th Street, which is directly in front of the White House. Shortly afterward, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser renamed a plaza outside the White House Black Lives Matter Plaza after the protests that erupted nationwide after the death of George Floyd.