On December 6th, 2016 CNN revealed the rankings of the top hashtags of 2016. Number 7 on this list was #BlackLivesMatter. This hashtag has been a trending topic for quite some time now. It all started in 2012 when a 17 year old boy named Travon Martin (African American) was shot to death by a local neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman (Caucasian). On February 26th, 2012 Martin was leaving a convenient store with a pack of skittles and an Arizona Iced Tea while wearing a black hoodie. He was walking late at night on the sidewalk while talking to his girlfriend on the phone, and Zimmerman thought he looked suspicious. Zimmerman then called a nonemergency police number and told them the situation. The operator told him to not follow Martin and stay put until further notice, however Zimmerman didn’t listen. He then followed Martin down the street and when Martin turned around to ask why he was following him, Zimmerman pushed him to the floor. They wrestled for a little bit and then eventually Zimmerman pulled the trigger. Below is a clip posted on youtube by Josh Snice on June 28th, 2013 that was streamed live on CNN during Zimmerman’s trial.
Since this incident, the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter has grown and grown each year. There have been many cases of racism against African Americans, especially within the police force. This hashtag started during this incident, however when cases come across like cops mistreating African Americans, the social media world goes crazy. There have been many protests, rallies, and riots involving the topic #BlackLivesMatter all around the world. Using the hashtag on social media is a great way to support your protest, and it will continue to be a trending topic throughout time.