Black Lives Matter started with a hashtag. Now it is a rallying cry, a cause and a movement in the wake of the deaths of black men at the hands of police. The latest police shootings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile have spurred a new round of protests across the country and worldwide.
Some organizers say the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the death of Trayvon Martin in 2012 is where the movement began. Demonstrators wore hoodies and carried Skittles, the candy Martin had bought on the night he was killed.
The shooting death of unarmed teen Michael Brown in August 2014 in Ferguson, Missouri, by an officer lit an existing fuse and protests engulfed the town.
By the time Eric Garner died after being placed in a chokehold by a New York Police Department officer, support for Black Lives Matter had grown nationwide.
Protests and clashes with police after the officer wasn’t indicted in the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson led to another round of protests, with the rallying cry “No justice, no peace.”
Demands for change led to organized protests in major cities, including New York, Washington, Boston, San Francisco and Oakland, California, in December 2014.
Activist Muhiyidin d’Baha took the call for action into a North Charleston, South Carolina, City Council after the killing of Walter Scott by a North Charleston police officer.
The death of Freddie Gray in Baltimore led to frustrations that splintered into violence; a CVS Pharmacy was looted and burned during protests after his funeral.
A battle waged against the Confederate flag as a symbol of hatred after Dylann Roof was accused of killing nine people in a South Carolina church in an attempt to spark a race war. Activist Brittany “Bree” Newsome took the battle flag off the flagpole at the Statehouse in Columbia, South Carolina.
The political activism entered the 2016 campaign, with some parts of the movement deciding to interrupt presidential candidates to demand more be done.
Black Lives Matter demonstrators made a point of protesting Democratic events to bring attention to their issues. The group had a tense meeting with Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire and released video of the conversation.
The movement also worked its way into popular culture, sparking an episode of “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” which took on a police officer killing an innocent unarmed black man.
Black Lives Matter protesters continued to disrupt political events in an attempt to be heard, including this Hillary Clinton event in Atlanta.
Racial tensions led to a weekslong protest movement at the University of Missouri campus that ousted both the university president and the school’s chancellor.
The movement was born out of frustration over the death of young black men. Jamar Clark’s funeral in Minneapolis in November is an example of that continued unified response.
Sirica Bolling raises her fist as she walks down Jefferson Avenue during a Black Lives Matter protest in Newport News, Va., Sunday July 10, 2016, following the fatal shootings of Alton Sterling in Louisiana and Philando Castile in Minnesota.
Demonstrations have popped up in cities around the world, including this one in London on July 10, 2016, following the most recent police shootings.