Since the murder of Trayvon Martin in 2012, the Black Lives Matter movement has grown to become a major voice in this country. They have demanded issues that affect African-Americans be included in the discussion of politics and have demanded that presidential candidates include the cause in their agendas.
And while it may be evident that the movement is the largest Black liberation movement in recent history, some still ask if Black Lives Matter the new voice for the unheard?
A new study by Brilliant Corners, a research and strategies company, recently surveyed more than five hundred African Americans aged 18 and older, and found that 34 percent believe or somewhat believe groups like the NAACP and the Urban League represent and speak for them.
Thirty-nine percent of those polled believe, or somewhat believe, that groups like Black Lives Matter represent and speak for their community.
Cornell Belcher, President of Brilliant Corners joined Roland Martin on NewsOne Now to discuss the findings of the survey and how the Black Lives Matter movement has gained traction in a short period of time.
Belcher told Martin he was surprised at how “quickly they’ve come and are not challenging traditional Civil Rights organizations – icons – as representatives and speaking for them.”
Belcher explained 47 percent of millennials side with Black Lives Matter and 40 percent of Generation X side with the movement for Black Lives. He also noted the results from the Brilliant Corners survey revealed as the age groups polled get older, more individuals side with traditional civil rights organizations.
These results prompted Belcher to ask, “Are we seeing the baton passed right now in our country around generational leadership and what will this mean for politics in the future?”
Belcher added, “Clearly as Obama steps off state will you see more strident voices rise up?”
Martin highlighted this apparent shift in the Civil Rights power structure has taken place in approximately three years.
Ella Hearns, an Organizing Coordinator for Black Lives Matter said, “I don’t think the impact of of those three years has really settled in — how quickly the maturation of this current movement happened. I don’t necessarily think about it because we are consistently organizing in the face of obviously continued violence systemically and structurally.”
In speaking about the maturation of the movement, NewsOne Now panelist Angela Rye said, “The movement took off because it spoke to the hearts and minds of America’s young people were really thinking and feeling and it took the power that exists and the level playing field of social media like Twitter where everyone has a voice … it is the perfect example of what a level playing filed in a democracy looks like.”
She continued, “I don’t know that they necessarily signed up to take on that responsibility,” but now that the movement has garnered a significant amount of attention from the public, politicians and the media Rye explained the Black Lives Matter movement no longer has choice in the matter. Members of the movement are “speaking for a group of people who for so long have felt disenfranchised and voiceless.”
Watch Roland Martin, Cornell Blecher, and the NewsOne Now panel discuss the Black Lives Matter movement picking up the baton of the fight for civil rights in America.
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