Black Lives Matter

As this is such an important issue - and one that we would be discussing with the children if they were in school with us - we wanted to share some information about this movement, share some links to learning and other things you might find relevant.

Black Lives Matter (BLM) is an organized movement advocating for non-violent civil disobedience in protest against incidents of police brutality against African-American people. An organisation, known simply as Black Lives Matter, exists as a decentralised network with over 30 chapters in the United States and sister organisations worldwide, while a larger Black Lives Matter movement exists consisting of various separate like-minded organizations such as Dream Defenders and Assata's Daughters. The broader movement and its related organizations typically advocate against police violence towards black people, as well as for various other policy changes considered to be related to black liberation.

In 2013, the movement began with the use of the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter on social media after the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the shooting death of African-American teen Trayvon Martin in February 2012. The movement became nationally recognised for street demonstrations following the 2014 deaths of two African Americans: Michael Brown – resulting in protests and unrest in Ferguson, a city near St. Louis – and Eric Garner in New York City. Since the Ferguson protests, participants in the movement have demonstrated against the deaths of numerous other African Americans by police actions and / or while in police custody. In the summer of 2015, Black Lives Matter activists became involved in the 2016 United States presidential election. The originators of the hashtag and call to action, Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, and Opal Tometi, expanded their project into a national network of over 30 local chapters between 2014 and 2016. The overall Black Lives Matter movement is a decentralised network and has no formal hierarchy.

The movement returned to national headlines and gained further international attention during the global George Floyd protests in 2020 following Floyd's death by police officer Derek Chauvin in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

This episode was written by Malorie Blackman and was first broadcast on BBC One on 21 October 2018.

In the episode, the Doctor, and her human friends Graham O'Brien, Ryan Sinclair, and Yasmin Khan, arrive in Alabama in 1955, and find themselves seeking to stop time-travelling criminal Krasko from preventing Rosa Parks influencing the American civil rights movement during the Montgomery Bus Boycott. The episode's plot concerns racial segregation in the United States at the time, including the law upheld in Alabama regarding municipal transit during this period.

Here are some links to Newsround and Blue Peter episodes where they discuss these important matters in a very child-friendly way.
This is a podcast documentary from the BBC World Service, talking about the movement behind the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter.
Below are some PowerPoint presentations from "Twinkl" that explain what racism is, how we should be embracing our differences and "International day for the elimination of racism". There is also a picture book "We are all different" as well as a reading comprehension pack based on news accounts of the Black Lives Matter protests - as well as a separate guide for adults.

500 Words is the world’s largest story-writing competition for kids. Over a million stories have been submitted since 2011, in response to everything from technology to climate change. Now, we want to bring children’s voices onto the themes and issues emerging from the Black Lives Matter movement. We want children to lead on the process of writing their story.

From 6:30am on Monday 29th June until Friday 3rd July at 11.59pm 2020, we invite children aged between 5 and 13 to respond in whatever way they wish in no more than 500 words, in the form of a story.

The narratives we write and share matter. We ask children to draw on their own experiences and feelings to create a story that can be as imaginative and visionary as they want. Storytelling is a must!

For that reason, we’ve brought together many high-profile personalities, school teachers and librarians alongside the continuing support and academic expertise of Oxford University Press to create 500 Words: Black Lives Matter.

To find out more - and to enter - click on the link below.

As part of his "Lockdown" series, "Mr Neaves reads..." this fantastic book by author Nathan Bryon is sure to make you look up from your smart phone and take a look at the world around you.
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