The year 2020 marked an exceptional degree of Black Lives Matter activism. In that same year, COVID-19 took a hold of the world and influenced almost every aspect of normal life. The study’s primary aim was to examine whether the BLM breakthrough was somehow effectuated by the pandemic and its social consequences. Using semi-structured interviews, ten BLM allies were questioned about their involvement with the BLM movement over the past eight years. Respondents were aged between 20 and 30 years old, identified as white and attended at least one BLM protest in 2020. Their answers were coded and analyzed. The majority of respondents believed that their involvement was influenced by the pandemic, through the fact that they had more time to themselves. Furthermore, they chose to attend a protest, despite of the social distancing efforts, because they realized the importance of the BLM sentiment. In conclusion, the pandemic does seem to have contributed to the BLM breakthrough in 2020, supporting the main premise of this study.

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Marieke van Houte, Bonnie French
Erasmus School of Social and Behavioural Sciences

Lambert, A. (2021, June 20). A viral pandemic versus a viral video: What the COVID-19 crisis taught us about civil activism. Sociology. Retrieved from