After police killed his son at his student apartment complex in Denton, Texas, Kevin Tarver waited to hear from the Black Lives Matter leaders he had long seen condemn similar police videos on TV and social media.
He expected strategic advice, help with funeral arrangements at the very least, condolences. Sixteen months later, nobody from the national organization — which last year suggested a haul of $90 million — has reached out to provide a word or help in his fight for justice.
“My son’s case isn’t always bigger or smaller than anybody else’s,” Tarver said. “But to have that attention puts pressure, and that’s not happening. When you’re raising millions of dollars, where is it going?”
As the United States prepares to mark the first anniversary of the murder of George Floyd, an occasion that galvanized exceptional help across the Black Lives Matter movement, Tarver’s case illustrates the mixed emotions and uncertainty that underlie the national organization it moves ahead.
How Black Lives Matter went from a hashtag to the most considerable motion in US history
What commenced as a hashtag is now defining the civil rights movement of its time. Driven by anger over the misappropriate violence against Black people in the arms of the police, Black Lives Matter is a demographically extensive campaign with worldwide influence, indebted to its predecessors and yet absolutely of its moment – a viral phenomenon that snowballed with Floyd’s murder, captured on a mobile phone video, prompting suburbs-deep protests and starting the door for most important social change.