BUILDING BLACK POLITICAL POWER AT THE INTERSECTION OF MOVEMENT AND ELECTORAL JUSTICE
The contemporary Black liberation movement often referred to as the Movement for Black Lives (M4BL) or Black Lives Matter movement (BLM) first arose in early 2013 in reaction to the murder of Trayvon Martin and took on increasing momentum during the Ferguson uprising in 2014 after the killing of Michael Brown. While the movement galvanized around these pivotal organizing moments regarding state-sanctioned violence and brutality -- it has become a broad movement grounded in a vision for Black liberation.
In this groundbreaking report Sojourn Strategies in partnership with ThinkRubix and the Electoral Justice Project found contemporary Black freedom movements are a powerful tool for political engagement.
The historic disenfranchisement, suppression and invisibilization of the Black vote is critical to understanding the connection between movement and elections. Black movement leaders interviewed for this study are very skeptical of existing political institutions alone as vehicles for change for the Black community. However, despite their disillusionment with traditional political institutions, Black movement actors see voting as a power center that cannot be ceded but instead should be used as a collective tool that is part of a much broader movement strategy.