The Black Lives Matter movement is a social movement that seeks to stop the persecution and mistreatment of Black people. The research goal is to explore the Black Lives Matter movement through Twitter (https://twitter.com) posts and participant interviews, using the frameworks of framing and new social movement. Insight on how to address social injustice issues can derive from this study. There is very little research about the Black Lives Matter organization and social media. Social justice is at the heart and soul of these movements, prompting activists and social media users to get involved. The Black Lives Matter organization was founded by activists Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, and Opal Tometi (Black Lives Matter, 2018a). These Black women were dissatisfied with the not-guilty verdict of the Trayvon Martin case. Garza wrote a letter on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com), ending with the phrase: Black Lives Matter; and Cullors elevated the phrase and turned it into a hashtag on Twitter (https://twitter.com): #BlackLivesMatter. Black Lives Matter aims to support Blacks, women, LGBTIQA+, undocumented immigrants, people with disabilities, etc. and are working hard to change laws and policy in the criminal justice system and other areas. The research design was a concurrent mixed methods study using both Twitter (https://twitter.com) posts and interviews to explore the Black Lives Matter movement. Quantitative content analysis was used for the Twitter (https://twitter.com) posts. Using a saturation and quota method, posts were sampled around six key events, with the #BlackLivesMatter hashtag and the new social movement framework. Five interviewed participants shared their unique and rich perspectives on the Black Lives Matter movement and social media practices. Findings led to three conclusions. First, social media provides the opportunity for activists to shape their narrative. Second, Black Lives Matter participants have affirmation for the movement and third, Black Lives Matter activists use of social media can influence policy. Implications for practice include educating social media users to share their perspectives and speaking out against injustice. Future research focusing on a broader and longer period of time of social media users and activists could provide further insights for how best to use social media for social justice issues.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Dissertations (EdD) -- Learning technologies; Black lives matter movement; Social justice; Social media -- Political aspects

Date of Award


School Affiliation

Graduate School of Education and Psychology



Degree Type


Degree Name


Faculty Advisor

Davis, Kay D.;