Role of Black Feminism in the Black Lives Matter Movement

Subject: Sociology
Pages: 2
Words: 596
Reading time:
3 min
Study level: Bachelor


The role of Black feminism in the development of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement cannot be underestimated because most of the reports show how both men and women of African-American descent are struggling with racial profiling, police brutality, and other issues related exclusively to their race. In the words of Cohen and Jackson (2016), the advent of BLM became one of the key achievements of Black feminism due to the protests against victimization and thorough enforcement of hashtag campaigns intended to draw more publicity to the most vicious cases of racial injustice. With time, BLM became a full-fledged movement owing to the humble beginnings where Black women dwelled on a common struggle and the need to challenge at least some of the patriarchal societal postulates (Larson, 2016). The agenda of BLM was reformed over time, but it did not affect the movement in terms of becoming less feministic or progressive; instead, it became rather mainstream and opened more opportunities for minority populations.

Black Feminism within the Framework of BLM

Most experiences in research on the subject of Black feminism show that BLM was a necessary movement that would make the life experiences of individuals exposed to prejudice more transparent to the community. In line with Threadcraft (2017), Black feminism activists were the ones who initiated the BLM movement and contributed to its essential agenda. The need for collective action and more interactions between minority populations and the government became the leitmotif of Black feminism while also causing more people to support the cause due to their sincere willingness to intervene. With the help of numerous allies, Black women were able to develop their efforts into an all-inclusive initiative that intends to dismantle inequities and create room for a reasonable environment where more attention will be paid to exclusively “Black” issues (Szetela, 2020). The research completed by Black feminists allowed more minority populations across the globe to rethink their perspectives on the issue and possible ways of resolving it.

Black women showed that discrimination does not lead to the development of a lucrative hierarchy and damages most of the social strata instead. Bliss (2016) and Towns (2018) noted that the experiences of Black feminists across the United States created room for ideas that were required to shape how minority populations could achieve outcomes that are in line with their expectations. The notion of anti-blackness was also targeted by Black feminists, as it was addressed both on social and academic terms. Resistance to the growing oppression became much stronger under the influence of Black feminists who contributed to the BLM and popularized it across the globe (Jackson, 2016). On the one hand, the importance of their involvement cannot be discounted since Black women were the first to support the trend and overcome their fears to elaborate and join the BLM. Without feminist contribution, on the other hand, the BLM movement would remain relatively silent across the globe due to instances of oppression and injustice.


Black Lives Matter is a movement that goes beyond mere feminist or minority values because of its essential objectives that relate to common well-being and the role of Black people in achieving the status quo. Nevertheless, Black women were the first to develop a strong position on the subject and show the community how invalid were some of the outlooks on minority populations. With the ideologies of Black feminism and BLM being almost identical, it may be stated that the voices of Black women allowed the movement to gain traction and help many people worldwide acknowledge the essence of their actions.


Bliss, J. (2016). Black feminism is out of place. Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, 41(4), 727-749.

Cohen, C. J., & Jackson, S. J. (2016). Ask a feminist: A conversation with Cathy J. Cohen on Black Lives Matter, feminism, and contemporary activism. Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, 41(4), 775-792.

Jackson, S. J. (2016). (Re) imagining intersectional democracy from Black feminism to hashtag activism. Women’s Studies in Communication, 39(4), 375-379.

Larson, E. D. (2016). Black Lives Matter and bridge-building: Labor education for a “New Jim Crow” era. Labor Studies Journal, 41(1), 36-66.

Szetela, A. (2020). Black Lives Matter at five: Limits and possibilities. Ethnic and Racial Studies, 43(8), 1358-1383.

Threadcraft, S. (2017). North American necropolitics and gender: On# blacklivesmatter and black femicide. South Atlantic Quarterly, 116(3), 553-579.

Towns, A. R. (2018). Black “matter” lives. Women’s Studies in Communication, 41(4), 349-358.