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Ten Times Black Women Were The Faces Behind Powerful Social Media Movements

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At the forefront of social media movements focusing on identity, diversity, justice, and social action have been Black women. Digital activism through the use of hashtags on platforms such as Twitter has become a new technique for social change. These nine hashtags have created a space for visibility, voice, and vision. During this time of extreme police brutality, racism, misogyny, and violence, it’s important to highlight the role Black women have played in shifting conversations (via @theunplugcollective).

#BlackLivesMatter

Founded by Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, and Opal Tometi.

The #BlackLivesMatter hashtag began in 2013 when George Zimmerman was acquitted of killing Trayvon Martin.  Not only is BLM a hashtag, but also a movement and still in 2020 in continuously used, especially during times of heightened racial tension.

#MeTooMovement

Founded by Tarana Burke

The #MeTooMovement was created to publicly give survivors of sexual harassment and sexual abuse a chance to share their stories. Since it’s inception in 2016, the movement has gained prominence during moments such as the Harvey Weinstein allegations.

#BringBackOurGirls

Co-founded by Oby Ezekwesili

#BringBackOurGirls became a powerful movement once Chibok schoolgirls were kidnapped. Even First Lady Michelle Obama posted a photo holding a sign with the hashtag to support the cause. To this day the Bring Back Our Girls is fighting for all our abducted girls in Nigeria to be rescued.

#WhyIStayed

Founded by Beverly Gooden

#WhyIStayed became a trending hashtag in 2014 to support survivors of domestic violence following an incident between Ray Rice and his then-fiancee. This conversation sparked women to share stories about why they choose to stay in abusive relationships.

#GirlsLikeUs

Founded by Janet Mock

#GirlsLikeUs hashtag created by the trans activist, has brought countless trans women into conversation with one another across social media, and has empowered them to tell their own stories apart from the media’s stereotyped portrayals.

#OscarsSoWhite

Founded by April Reign

BroadwayBlack.com managing editor April Reign created the trending Twitter hashtag #OscarsSoWhite after for the second year in a row, all 20 actors nominated in the lead and supporting acting categories were White. Since then other creators shared their experiences in the industry and the Academy has attempted to make steps towards diversifying their awards as a result of the hashtag.

#BlackGirlMagic

Founded by Cashawn Thompson

In 2013 the movement was popularized as a way to “celebrate the beauty, power and resilience of Black women.” The intended goal of the hashtag was to to create an online dialogue centered on the achievements of Black women, in a society that has historically recognized very few of these achievements.

#TheShowMustBePaused

Founded by Brianna Agyemang and Jamila Thomas

The mission of #TheShowMustBePaused is to hold accountable the industry at large, including major corporations and their partners, who benefit from the efforts, struggles and successes of Black people. This hashtag became widespread following the murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor.

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