Black Lives Matter, Social Media, Activism, COVID-19


Politics and Social Change | Race and Ethnicity | Social and Behavioral Sciences | Social Justice | Social Media


Babasola Fateye


By definition social movements reflect unique times in history. To fully grasp the implications of a movement the social and political climate that induce them must be understood. An intersectional model should be used when framing and studying the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement, a modern descendant of both the NAACP and Civil Rights movement. From its inception, BLM has utilized social media as an important tool by coining #BlackLivesMatter, a hashtag that frequently comes to life offline as BLM organizers use it as a call for action and mobilization. The accessibility of social media made its role in the BLM movement even more vital during the 2019-2020 COVID-19 pandemic. With continued police brutality and the murders of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and countless more, the need for change was as pressing as ever during the pandemic. This comprehensive literature review on BLM's antecedents and social media's role in activism along with quantitative analyses of BLM affiliated Instagram pages highlights social media's diverse roles in social movements and its use as a powerful tool for mobilization during and prior to a global health crisis.