What’s in a name? Quite a bit, when it’s the name that has most transformed American politics over the past four years. The simple words “Black Lives Matter” have spurred more debate, expressions of solidarity, declarations of offense and multichromatic knock-offs than the name of any other movement in memory. As James Agee wrote about a different phrase in an earlier era, those words exist “to mislead those who will be misled by them. They mean, not what the reader may care to think they mean, but what they say.”
But what do they mean? What do we know of the movement behind them? How has it shaped the racial politics of the 2016 presidential race, and how is the movement evolving amid its own influence?
City Limits joined Akiba Solomon of Colorlines, Danielle Belton from The Root, NewsOne’s Christina Coleman and Mychal Denzel Smith from The Nation to discuss those questions and others on the set of Straight Up, the well-hydrated reporters’ roundtable show produced by the amazing BRIC-TV. Watch: