The two readings on the “black lives” matter movement focus on how the power of statements is influential. The Miami Heat took a photo with their hoods up, heads down, and hands in their pockets. After LeBron James posted this photo on Twitter, it made a statement to the NBA, the United States, and to the world. In the wake of Trayvon Martin, the hoodie has taken on a new connotation. “The hoodie confers blackness.” It has some connection to street cred, and can be seen as a threat – much like leather jackets that white kids wore in the 50s. Morris mentions this is ironic – since black people have been scared of white men in hoods for centuries. The hoodie symbolizes injustice, and is essentially racism bound up in clothes. In this photo, they symbolize the unity and solidarity that was seen with Tommie Smith and John Carlos raising their gloved fists at the 68’ Olympics, in response to the black power movement. The NBA imposed a dress code in 2005, and this photo constitutes rebellion for that dress code.
In the Yancy/Butler piece from the New York Times, the authors discuss why the “all lives matter” does not get to the core of the “black lives matter” movement. “If black lives do not matter, then they are not really regarded as lives, since a life is supposed to matter. So what we see is that some lives matter more than others, that some lives matter so much that they need to be protected at all costs, and that other lives matter, or not at all.” (Butler, 2) We must remember the root of these issues when discussing this movement. When we think back to slavery, black lives were only seen as a fraction of human life. So stating “black lives matter” is important, because it states the obvious – but the obvious has yet to be historically realized. “Stating “all lives matter” does not immediately mark black lives – because they have not been fully recognized as having lives that matter.” (Butler, 4) The issue at hand is larger, it is not simply that “black lives matter”, but that racist killings are becoming