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Black Lives Matter Faces Test Of Its Influence In Election

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FILE - In this Oct. 24, 2020, file photo, participants drive past the Smoothie King Center, which has been converted to an early voting location, at the end of a "Parade to the Polls" event, organized by Operation Go Vote!, a collaborative of African American civic and social organizations, in New Orleans. Several years since its founding, BLM has evolved well beyond the initial aspirations of its early supporters. Now, its influence faces a test, as voters in the Tuesday, Nov. 3 general election choose or reject candidates who endorsed or denounced the BLM movement amid a national reckoning on race. (AP Photo/Rusty Costanza)

(AP) — The Black Lives Matter movement emerged in 2013, its creators angered over the acquittal of George Zimmerman, the Florida man who shot and killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. Several years since its founding, BLM has evolved well beyond the initial aspirations of its early supporters. It went from social media hashtag to an immensely influential movement and an organization with millions of dollars at its disposal to push messaging around defunding police departments as a way of addressing systemic racism. Now, its influence faces a test, as voters in Tuesday’s general election choose or reject candidates who endorsed or denounced the BLM movement amid a national reckoning on race.

 

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