As we have seen, hashtags have taken the social media world by storm, bringing communities together and creating its own revolutionary outbreak of change.
Racial justice is at the top of the list for hashtags that have made a difference in our community.
Although they may have begun as a social outcry -- or as part of an angry tweet late one nigh -- here are top five hashtags that have created movements and brought with them awareness and social change:
A hashtag that started an entire movement after 17-year-old Trayvon Martin was shot to death by a police officer in 2012. The Black Lives Matter campaign has grown into a strong community of individuals who are joining in the conversation and taking a stand against police brutality towards African Americans. No longer just a hashtag, the Black Lives Matter Community is now responsible for organizing rallies, protests, and nationwide conference, as well as expanding to 38 chapters all over the United States.
In 2015, 14-year-old Ahmed Mohamed was arrested after his teacher assumed that the homemade clock that he brought to school, was a bomb. #IStandWithAhmed has become a hashtag used to bring attention to islamophobia that is continuously growing within the United States. The hashtag has been used over 300,000 times on Twitter. Even by President Obama joined the movement, encouraging all children never to be afraid to take an interest in science, no matter what their ethnicity is.
This hashtag gained momentum after a grand jury decided not to press charges against a white New York police officer for the death of Eric Garner, a 43-year-old black man, who died after being held in a chokehold in 2014. The hashtag #CrimingWhileWhite originated from white individuals sharing their stories about times they were let go by police officials for crimes they should have been arrested for, bringing attention to the unavoidable truth of white privilege and racial profiling.
A hashtag in which was the response to #CrimingWhileWhite. Although the previous hashtag had good intentions and brought focus to white privileged, it also pulled away attention from the real issue, the issue that people of color are being killed and being treated with less respect than those who have white skin. Therefore individuals began to share their own personal stories of times where situations escalated because of the color of their skin, encouraging white people to just listen and become aware.
In 2016 several members of the entertainment community made it clear that they would be boycotting the Academy Awards after it was revealed that they Oscar nominees only consisted of white actors and actresses in the top four categories. An undeniable situation in which had occurred for the second year in a row. This hashtag brought awareness to the lack of diversity within leading roles for the entertainment community. Although, the Academy Awards did step it up in 2017, this hashtag is still frequently used to interrupt racist perspectives and agendas within our entertainment media.
Image courtesy of Occupy