How can social media organize? An essay with two sidebars by critic Rudy Reed on Black Lives Matter. The essay is taking an interview with Design Action Collective as starting point, and searches deeper into the matter of branding practice. A sidebar on DeRay Mckesson and the phenomenon “personal brand.” We take Colin Kaepernick to show body language as brand method.

movement originated in 2013. An unarmed 17-year-old African American teenager named Trayvon Benjamin Martin was fatally shot in Florida by 29-year-old George Zimmerman. Zimmerman, a white Hispanic man, was later acquitted of second-degree murder and manslaughter.

Disappointed by the verdict, Alicia Garza, who had heard the announcement earlier in the day, found herself waking in the middle of the night to post on Facebook. Her post is now recognized as a love letter to black people. “Black people. I love you. I love us. Our lives matter.” Garza’s activist friend Patrisse Cullors took some poignant words from the statement to create the hashtag #blacklivesmatter. Opal Tometi, an immigration activist based in New York, created Facebook and Twitter pages to connect like-minded activists around the hashtag. These three women are today known as the founders of the Black Lives Matter movement.

Read more in BRANDED PROTEST the book.
About Rudy Reed

Rudy Reed is an American journalist, author, editor and critic. He specializes in design, fashion design, music and pop culture.
During his time in Atlanta, he was responsible for writing the fashion column of AUC (Atlanta University Center) Magazine. The AUC is largest contiguous consortium of African Americans in higher education in the United States. The center consists of four historically black colleges and universities: Morehouse, Spelman, Morris Brown, and Clark. In 2009 Rudy launched Fashion Forward Men. The blog shines a spotlight on photographers, designers, groomers, and gentlemen who have unique personal style. Rudy has also written for GBM News, Krave Magazine, and HERS magazine. He has worked as an editor for international publishers.
About Design Action Collective

As part of the movement for peace and justice, Design Action supports all efforts to bring about progressive social change by providing high quality graphic design and visual communications services to progressive organizations.
Design Action is a spin-off from the Inkworks Press collective. Historically, Inkworks comes from the part of the progressive movement which has been most influenced by Marxism. As Inkworks grew, it gained input from other progressive ideological and political perspectives. Design Action is the product of this new generation. This has not altered our belief that capitalism is an inherently exploitative and alienating system and that socialism presents a positive alternative. For us the idea of socialism, a society which places human concerns above the pursuit of profit, still stands as a powerful vision of what society can be.
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