Black Lives Matter. The phrase itself has created a rift in American Society. It draws reactionary responses of ‘All Lives Matter’ or ‘Police Lives Matter’. Yet it’s Black Lives for which people have taken to the streets.
In 2015 the Black Lives Matter movement gained momentum in the Twin Cities of Minnesota. Following two large demonstrations at the end of 2014, including the shutdown of Interstate 35W in Minneapolis while marching to City Hall, a protest at the Mall of America during a busy Christmas shopping day and the subsequent arrest of 25 protesters. A movement had begun across the country and in my own backyard was a particularly active part of the community. Black Lives Matter Minneapolis, Black Lives Matter St. Paul and the Black Liberation Project held frequent public demonstrations in 2015 to demand their voices be heard.
These photographs follow some of those demonstrations, in an attempt not only to document what occurred but also to invite the viewer to think more critically about the motivations of the protesters involved. To pause and ponder about those pictured and also those who were not able to take to the streets. To question whether Black Lives were taken out of necessity or negligence.