Black Lives Matter

From a Moment to a Movement

by Laurie Collier Hillstrom


Although Black Lives Matter is a relatively new movement, it has established itself as a potent force in American life.

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Cover image for Black Lives Matter

September 2018


Pages 164
Volumes 1
Size 6 1/8x9 1/4
Topics Race and Ethnicity/African American Studies
  Current Events and Issues/Ethnicity

This concise yet comprehensive reference book provides an overview of the Black Lives Matter movement, from its emergence in response to the police-involved deaths of unarmed black people to its development as a force for racial justice in America.

This much-needed reference text places the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement within the broader context of the African American struggle for equality in America, from the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s to the violent protests against white supremacy that took place in Charlottesville in 2017. Specific topics include the fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin in Florida in 2012, which gave rise to the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter; the fatal shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, in 2014, which launched the rise of the movement; and the fatal shootings of police officers in Dallas, Texas, and Baton Rouge, Louisiana, in 2016, which sparked bitter backlash. It also covers the virulent alt-right backlash against BLM and the ways in which BLM leaders are responding to the challenge.

Features of the book include an introduction; seven topical chapters covering the historical background to, origin and growth of, and backlash against the Black Lives Matter movement; and a conclusion. In addition, ten biographical "snapshots" cover key individuals involved with the movement, and eight primary source documents further illuminate issues discussed in the text. Other features include a timeline, an annotated bibliography, and a subject index.


  • Provides readers with a comprehensive overview of the origin, growth, and development of the Black Lives Matter movement
  • Explores how modern activists employ social media as a force for social change
  • Examines the emergence of white supremacy and white nationalism as a part of a cultural backlash against the Black Lives Matter movement
  • Presents current information and statistics on racial injustice in America
  • Explores how the civil rights movement, Black Power movement, and hip-hop culture have shaped and influenced the fight for racial justice
Author Info

Laurie Collier Hillstrom is a freelance writer and editor based in Brighton, Michigan. She is author of more than 40 books in the areas of American history, biography, and current events. Her previously published works include Defining Moments: The Underground Railroad, Defining Moments: Plessy v. Ferguson, and Defining Moments: Jackie Robinson and the Integration of Baseball.



"...useful as a starting point for high school and lower-level undergraduate research..."ARBA

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