Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Weffer-Elizondo, Simon E.

Degree Name

M.A. (Master of Arts)

Legacy Department

Department of Sociology


Black lives matter movement--United States--Sociological aspects; Police brutality--United States; Communities--United States--Sociological aspects


In this paper I analyze the impact that the social movement #BlackLivesMatter (#BLM) has on how communities frame the issue of police brutality within protests. Protests that occurred before the #BLM movement focused on policing issues only within their own communities, while the protests that occurred after #BLM make connections from local cases to a national problem. I examine YouTube videos of protesting the police after incidents of police brutality for three different cases. The first case is the murder of Oscar Grant in Oakland, California, which was before the #BLM movement emerged. The second case was the choking of Eric Garner in Staten Island, New York. The third case is shooting of teenager Michael Brown in St. Louis, Missouri. By expanding the collective identity #BLM changed the discourse about police brutality from a problem within local communities to a national social issue. The #BLM movement has shown that communities no longer have to struggle alone, but that they need (and can) to unite against oppressive policing.


Advisors: Simon E. Weffer-Elizondo.||Committee members: Laura J. Heideman; Jeffrey L. Kidder.


53 pages




Northern Illinois University

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