“I believe in that movement and I believe in that chant”: The influence of Black Lives Matter on resilience and empowerment


Over the past few years, systemic racism has been increasingly in the news via the work of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement. While the negative psychological effects of racial discrimination are well documented, less is known about how young people resist or change racism, and how social movements such as BLM may influence these individual processes. To address this gap, the current study used the Transconceptual Model of Empowerment and Resilience (TMER; Brodsky & Cattaneo, 2013) to explore how BLM operates to support, promote, and maintain resilience and empowerment processes among young Black men as they face racism. Semi-structured interviews with 14 young Black men were analyzed using an issue-focused analysis approach. The findings suggest that participants experienced a diverse range of racism. The BLM movement appeared to influence resilience and empowerment by: 1) providing awareness about racial injustice, 2) reinforcing racial pride, 3) offering resources, and 4) opening a window of opportunity for participants to enact change within their local context.

DOI Code: 10.1285/i24212113v4i2p55

Keywords: Racism, Empowerment, Resilience, Black Lives Matter


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