Keisha N. Blain notes that the Black Lives Matter movement is a major wave in the larger narrative of activism that goes back to slavery.
“If civil rights ultimately means citizenship rights, then that means that you would be fighting for it for as long as you don’t have it,” Blain told Vox. "There are several threads that I see between Black nationalist movements of the 20th century and the Black Lives Matter movement. One is the focus on community control. One of the things that Black Lives Matter activists have been demanding for quite a while is greater community control. Today we’re talking about it within the context of policing. But in general, they have been demanding the need for Black people within Black communities to make their own decisions about how the communities would be controlled and how things will be run, as opposed to having people from the outside impose upon them their strategies and tactics."