The Yale Undergraduate Research Journal


Unrest spurred by the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement in the United States has flowed throughout the city of Richmond, Virginia. Unique forms of protest have proliferated across the city, encompassing several artistic tactics such as graffiti art, oral storytelling, graphic design, and movement art. This paper will explore the effectiveness of art as protest by analyzing its impacts on several foundational aspects of social movements. Combining my personal observations, scholarly literature, and research on other social movements, I have developed my own findings regarding the use of art in Richmond’s Black Lives Matter movement. I posit that the use of art has functioned as an additive support to the movement rather than detracting from its success because of its pervasive nature across several foundational elements of movement-building.

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