Orginal Publication Date
Ethnic Studies Review
The agitation of the Black Lives Matter movement has dominated the public discourse in the United States. Mobilized against the killing of unarmed black people, the movement and their sympathizers have made a series of demands for justice and dignity for the black people. However, many critics have raised concern over the legitimacy of the phrase, black lives matter since all lives irrespective of race, should matter. This article does not intend to pursue the ongoing debate over the semantic use of black lives or all lives. Instead, the paper seeks to study, through the lenses of the African American critical theories (Tyson, 2015) and other relevant social conflict theories, the often neglected but important shift that has occurred in race relations in America, a shift from overt structural racism to its covert form - encrypted racism. It is the contention of this article that just as the Civil Rights Movement was instrumental in ending overt structural racism, open discrimination and segregation, the Black Lives Matter movement has been bravely instrumental in decrypting encrypted racism in the United States.