Black Lives Matter Symbol: What Does The Black Power Fist Mean & What Is The History Behind It?

11 June 2020, 15:02

The BLM power fist has been used for years as a sign of liberation
The BLM power fist has been used for years as a sign of liberation. Picture: PA

The Black Lives Matter raised, clenched fist symbol has a long history behind it, but what does it mean?

Following the tragic killing of George Floyd by a police officer in Minneapolis, on May 25, people have come together worldwide to demand justice for black lives.

Protests have taken place in countries across the world including the UK and US to stand in solidarity to fight against the injustices in the black community.

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Black Lives Matter activists have all been united by raising clenched fists, which is a symbol that has become intertwined with the BLM movement.

But what does the symbol mean and what is the history behind it?

The black power fist has been used for years by activists
The black power fist has been used for years by activists. Picture: PA

What does the BLM black power fist symbol mean?

The symbol is a gesture for liberation for those in the black community in the ongoing fight against racism.

The BLM movement adopted the powerful symbol following the death of Michael Brown in Missouri in 2014.

The unarmed black teenager was shot dead by police and the skyward fist represents the ‘hand’s up, don’t shoot’ pose, which is commonly seen in protests and social media posts.

BLM protests have taken place worldwide
BLM protests have taken place worldwide. Picture: PA

What is the history behind the BLM black power fist?

The skyward fist has a powerful history behind it, stemming as a symbol of defiance and is often associated with left-wing politics as well as oppressed groups, according to ABC news.

The historic gesture has been used to represent the struggle for civil rights and the 1960s organisation The Black Panther Party has used it in the past as a symbol of resistance.

The black power fist has also been adopted by allies of the black community as a symbol of black liberation.

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