Black Lives Matter (BLM) is a valuable international movement that protects the rights and freedoms of Black people, increases their inclusiveness, and addresses all racially motivated incidents and violence, including white privilege. This movement is quite successful nowadays, but some people still refuse to judge others based on their actual actions and continue discriminating them. Therefore, it is essential to analyze the movement and all events in diversity through the four general education lenses to gain valuable insights into how the BLM movement has influenced modern society.
The Lens of History
When studying historical events, it may seem that many of them are repeated because people do not manage to learn their lesson the first time but continue making the same mistakes. Thus, it may be incredibly beneficial to view an event or issue under study through the lens of history. American Historical Association (2021) notices that using this lens means gaining proper knowledge of the event’s actual background. It includes the stakeholders’ objectives, the ideas of the participants, and the examination of valuable and insightful artifacts.
To begin with, it is possible to find the mission and objectives of the BLM movement on its official website. The participants’ goal is to improve the lives and everyday experiences of Black people by creating space for their imagination and innovation, centering their joy, and combating acts of cruelty and violence (Black Lives Matter, 2021). Overall, the mission of the BLM movement is to eliminate white supremacy and make sure that all people have equal rights.
Further, it is possible to study first-person accounts of those who witnessed the event themselves because their stories may differ from what is described by the media (Southern New Hampshire University, n.d.). For instance, Abdo (2020) participated in the 2020 protest in Minneapolis and reported that the event was filled with joy, peace, and inclusiveness. People were welcoming and patient with each other, and there was even a group of Indigenous people who supported the movement despite the centuries-long violence against them (Abdo, 2020). Therefore, the essence and idea behind Black Lives Matter are truly peaceful, valuable, promising, and respectful.
The Lens of Humanities
There are two valuable aspects included in the humanities lens, and both of them provide necessary insights. First, when viewing an event or a problem through it, it is necessary to analyze how the issue under study is represented in culture (Southern New Hampshire University, 2021). Further, researchers also try to “ask about cultural values and why they matter” and offer one to set aside their ideals and principles and look objectively at another culture (Southern New Hampshire University, n.d., para. 5).
The cultural representation of Black Lives Matter is rich, and this is a factor that contributes to the movement’s success. Researchers notice that many artists get inspired by the BLM’s ideas and create portraits of police brutality and racism victims (Widewalls Editorial, 2021). For instance, a picture of Breonna Taylor, initially created for Vanity Fair Magazine, was bought by museums (Widewalls Editorial, 2021). Additionally, street artists paint graffiti, depicting victims’ names and words of encouragement, and poets perpetuate this global tragedy with words, not allowing people to forget.
As for the second aspect, one of the movement’s objectives is to promote cultural equality and value by making others, especially racists and opponents of BLM, set their values and principles aside (Black Lives Matter, 2021). This will allow many of these individuals to soberly evaluate the current level of discrimination, and they will understand that nothing can justify violence and police brutality (Lebron, 2017). Eventually, the whole society has to see the essence and value of African Americans and other persons who get discriminated.
The Lens of Natural and Applied Sciences
Viewing an issue through this lens means trying to understand the role of nature in shaping this problem or event and people themselves. Additionally, natural scientists seek to answer the questions that have been bothering humans’ minds for centuries by conducting interviews and experiments (Southern New Hampshire University, n.d.). Thus, analyzing the BLM movement through this lens may bring valuable insights regarding the effectiveness of the participants’ efforts and overall measures aimed at evaluating white supremacy.
Some people may think that eliminating police brutality is enough for making sure that Black people are treated with respect. However, this is not the only major issue that African Americans face. Makgoba (2020) notices that, since the COVID-19 outbreak, there has been “the disproportionately high vulnerability and mortality in African-American, Afro-Caribbean, and Afro-Latin communities” (para. 1). Further, Ruiz et al. (2020) also provide statistics showing that 21% of Black adults (compared to 8% of white adults) report being subject to slurs and jokes because of their race since the beginning of the pandemic. Therefore, it is unlikely that addressing racially motivated police brutality and violence is enough for changing the overall picture.
What is more, there is also an issue in the scientific field. According to researchers, re is significant underestimation and underrepresentation of Black American scientists, and their significant contribution is not welcomed and recognized by their white colleagues (“Black Lives Matter in ecology and evolution,” 2020). Consequently, in order to make a serious step towards racial equality and inclusion of Black Americans, it is also vital to consider this issue.
The Lens of Social Sciences
Last but not least, the social sciences lens is also a valuable tool that makes the study of the Black Lives Matter movement more effective. This lens allows researchers to see whether the world is in the phase of active social change and helps articulate a deeper understanding of the social problems that the movement affects (Southern New Hampshire University, n.d.). Moreover, analyzing the event through this lens makes it possible to study the relationships between humans and find ways to enhance their daily experiences.
It is possible to suggest that the difficulty of the diversity issues is related to the fact that previous generations were made to treat other people based on their nationality and skin color. Unfortunately, this aspect of society is difficult to be changed, and though many people choose to accept diversity and equality, there are those who continue discriminating others. According to Whyte (2020), humans’ relationships are the key to the issue’s solution, and this lens highlights the importance of “equipping the next generation with critical skills and insights that can possibly lead to social change” (para. 1).
Racially motivated hatred and exclusion base some individuals’ behavior towards others, which is why the necessity of changing the situation and making people treat others based on their real actions, talents, and skills should be emphasized. The lens of social sciences makes it possible to see that Black Lives Matter demand that society starts valuing Black Americans’ humanity, rights, lives, and principles (Lebron, 2017). White privilege is no longer society’s principle, and a strong collaboration against global problems is required from all humans.
The Impact of Problems in Diversity on Professional and Personal Contexts
It is hard to disagree that increasing one’s awareness about the issues and events in diversity can greatly influence their personal and professional fields. For example, many people evaluate and treat others based on their race, age, sexuality, gender, and other characteristics that are usually irrelevant. However, knowing that it is beneficial that all individuals are different but equal in their rights and joys makes it possible for a person to treat everyone based on their real actions and attitudes. It refers to both personal and professional contexts, and appreciating diversity makes one a better person in their ordinary life and a more qualified professional in their workplace. Thus, studying diversity helps enhance professional and personal communication and makes it smoother and more pleasant for all parties.
Social Practices Shaped by Issues and Events in Diversity
Events and problems in diversity shape many social practices. For example, as mentioned above, the BLM movement (and the issues with discrimination in general) impact people’s artistic expressions. Artists create portraits of Black victims (Widewalls Editorial, 2021), writers devote their literary works to racial inequality, and there are numerous graffiti on the streets that do not let society forget about the situation. Another social practice shaped by problems in diversity is education. For example, according to Claeys-Kulik et al. (2019), the thought that diverse learning environments play a significant role in preparing students for diversity in research fields and society is becoming more powerful. Thus, there is a positive effect of events in diversity on these social practices.
The Benefits and Challenges of Addressing Issues in Diversity
There are numerous advantages and disadvantages that the world can receive through solving diversity issues and dilemmas. To begin with, according to Ramos et al. (2016), defeating stereotypes and discrimination will result in the promotion of tolerance, self-expression, and overall joy among individuals of different nationalities and cultures. People will understand and appreciate each other more, and race wars will be reduced. Additionally, communities will get richer because persons will be able to freely share their various experiences (Ramos et al., 2016). At the same time, the challenges met by this process include high levels of intolerance and prejudice. For example, any diversity is not welcomed, and one’s attempt to stand out from the crowd and be slightly different from others gets ridiculed and mistreated by society (Ramos et al., 2016). Finally, racism and homophobia are probably the most severe diversity challenges because they have taken root in people’s minds.
The Influence of Diversity Analysis on My Interactions
As a white woman who is married to an African American and has a multiracial son, I sometimes can witness other people’s stereotyped or discriminating behavior against our family. Though it is still rather harmful, the knowledge I gained after studying diversity issues and influences allows me to see the situation from another perspective and find a way to change the minds of those individuals with whom I interact. Further, critically analyzing diversity helps me understand people better, and I begin to appreciate more that our world consists of numerous different cultures, artifacts, insights, traditions, and many other concepts that can unite people on some level.
Abdo, Z. (2020). A first-person account of a Black Lives Matter protest in Minneapolis turned violent by police. Inside Edition. Web.
American Historical Association. (2021). The lens of history. Web.
Black Lives Matter. (2021). About. Web.
Black Lives Matter in ecology and evolution. (2020). Nature Ecology & Evolution, 4, 893–894. Web.
Claeys-Kulik, A. L., Jørgensen, T. E., & Stöber, H. (2019). Diversity, equity and inclusion in European higher education institutions: Results from the INVITED project [PDF document]. Web.
Lebron, C. J. (2017). The making of Black Lives Matter: A brief history of an idea. Oxford University Press.
Makgoba, M. W. (2020). Black scientists matter. Science, 369(6506), 884.
Ramos, M., Hewstone, M., Barreto, M., & Branscombe, N. (2016). The opportunities and challenges of diversity: Explaining its impact on individuals and groups. European Journal of Social Psychology, 46(7).
Ruiz, N. G., Horowitz, J. M., & Tamir, C. (2020). Many Black and Asian Americans say they have experienced discrimination amid the COVID-19 outbreak. Pew Research Center. Web.
Southern New Hampshire University. (2021). The lenses identified. SNHU Shapiro Library. Web.
Southern New Hampshire University. (n.d.). IDS the four general education lenses [PDF document]. Web.
Whyte, A. (2020). Four ways to approach the Black Lives Matter protests with your sociology students. Collins. Web.
Widewalls Editorial. (2021). How is the art world responding to the Black Lives Matter movement now? Widewalls. Web.