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The Journals are the premier publications for high-quality, hyperlocal news and advertising in Monmouth County, New Jersey

Jun 10, 2020

The Driving Force Behind the Black Lives Matter Movement: Gen Z

By Emily Chang

Photo by Sarah DeFelice

Throughout history, young people have always been responsible for changing the world. Each generation becomes grows up strong and smart, making the country’s youth the leaders of tomorrow. Today is no different. Following the horrific death of George Floyd as a result of police brutality, America’s youth have come together to fight for justice.

The death of Floyd was a clear representation of mistreatment due to the color of one’s skin. But this is sadly not an isolated incident. In the past two months, Ahmaud Arbery was shot while jogging, Breonna Taylor was killed in her apartment, and Christian Cooper was reported for merely birdwatching. These instances of systemic racism reignited the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement, sparking a revolution for justice and equality.

Generation Z (people currently aged 5 to 25), in particular, has become deeply committed to BLM. Although they are young, these people immediately recognized the discrimination and abuse that black people face every day, and they sought to make a real difference. Using the platform of social media, Gen Z has been able to flood screens with posts spreading news, raising awareness and educating others. Instead of posting typical summer beach day photos, teens and young adults understood the severity of this national issue and made conscious efforts to show their support and respect. As BLM posts go viral, its impact transcends beyond one’s immediate community and serves to facilitate change on a national level. Social media is already powerful in that it connects people across the world, and this technology has allowed BLM to gain traction. Many have also gone beyond social media to establish their own fundraisers, sign petitions and participate in local protests.

While people of all ages undoubtedly contribute to society, Gen Z has made significant strides in destroying the systemic racism that has existed in this country for much too long. Thanks to the protests, Floyd’s murderers have been charged and will not receive the privilege of walking free. It is amazing to see the true impact this movement has created, and it would never have happened without the efforts of America’s youth. These young individuals made it clear that this is a matter of human rights that everyone should support, regardless of one’s background or political views.

Not only do black lives matter, they are all special, worthy and valued.