“Over the years, Americans of African descent have had numerous ways of referring to themselves as a people, because they have been a people and have been made a people through the conditions they were faced. Whether those conditions were slavery, Jim Crow, segregation, disenfranchisement, job discrimination, or whatever it was, they faced common circumstances that made them recognize themselves as a people.
Every time they designated themselves as a people, that became a racial designation. When colored as a term was replaced by Negro and Negro was replaced by Black, every one of those was a way of defining a people. When it gets into the general vocabulary, it became a racial designation. When Black Lives Matter activists say black lives matter, they are not making a racial statement.
Do Americans have to say that other Americans, and for that matter, other human beings’ lives matter? To have to say, 'black lives matter,' and open yourself up to an enemy who tries to trump that with 'all lives matter,' when in fact the slogan BLM always meant all lives matter. It was a way of saying, 'yes, ours too.' I don’t like the way they had to say ours too as though there could be a question about whether ours matter, because everybody’s matters.”
— Barabara J Fields