Co-founder of Black Lives Matter speaks to students at PVAMU

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Co-Founder of Black Lives Matter movement speaks to Tracy Clemons.

On the campus of Prairie View A&M University, the Black Lives Matter movement meant something different to every student.

"We're all children from the Lord," senior Prince Crawford said. "And just because you're a certain color, it doesn't mean you're lower than anybody."

Senior Marquesha Alexander offered another meaning to the movement.

"I think it means our culture matters still. It's not anything to be thrown away or put in the past. We're still present," Alexander added.

The idea of inclusion and representation continued to resonate with students at Prairie View.

"I see a movement that represents an under-privileged part of society that wants an equal place in society," junior Joshua Muhammad explained.

The term started in the brain of Alicia Garza after George Zimmerman was acquitted in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin in 2013.

"Black Lives Matter was really a love note to black people to say we didn't create these systems that we are now dominated by," Garza said. "Ultimately what's going to get us free is a deep and abiding love for each other and who we are in all of our complexity."

She was the speaker for the SPIT Knowledge Lecture Series at Prairie View A&M Tuesday.

Prairie View became a hot spot for the Black Lives Matter movement last summer after Sandra Bland was pulled over near campus and found dead in a Waller County jail cell days later. Garza says that case raises important questions.

"We all have questions about what does it mean to transform unaccountable policing that has very little oversight," Garza said. "What does it mean to transform a justice system that doesn't enact justice for the large majority of us."

Common responses to Black Lives Matter have been "All Lives Matter" and "Police Lives Matter." The term has been called divisive, but she argues that her phrase does not imply that they do not. In fact, she says the movement she started is all about love. She says the real divisiveness comes from not dealing with the elephant in the room; that is anti-black racism.

"We also believe all lives matter. And we're trying to work for a society where all lives do matter. That's our ideal. But the reality is that we don't live in that world right now," she added.

Garza talked a lot more about what Black Lives Matter truly believes, where she believes the movement is headed, and even Beyonce's controversial new pro-black song "Formation."

You can watch our entire one-on-one interview with her below:
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Alicia Garza, one of the founders of the Black Lives Matter movement, speaks to Tracy Clemons.

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