Beyoncé brought the mothers of Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner and Oscar Grant with her to the MTV Video Music Awards red carpet on Sunday night.
Together, Brown, Martin, Garner and Grant’s mothers are referred to as “the Mothers of the Movement,” the mothers of the men whose deaths touched off the Black Lives Matter movement.
Beyoncé won eight of the 11 VMAs for which she was nominated Sunday night, including Video of the Year for her hit song “Formation.” The video paid homage to the Black Lives Matter movement, with Beyoncé singing from atop a submerged police car and graffiti visible in the video reading, “Stop shooting us.”
The mothers of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown and Eric Garner — Sybrina Fulton, Gwen Carr and Lezley McSpadden — all appeared in Beyoncé’s visual album, Lemonade, holding pictures of their deceased sons.
Florida teenager Trayvon Martin was shot and killed after attacking George Zimmerman on February 26, 2012, while Michael Brown was shot and killed after trying to take a gun away from police officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Missouri on August 9, 2014. Staten Island man Eric Garner died after being placed in a chokehold while he was being arrested on July 17, 2014. The deaths of the three men became a rallying cry for the Black Lives Matter movement, and Martin’s death was unsuccessfully used to push more gun control in Florida and other states.
Members of the Mothers of the Movement appeared at the Democratic National Convention on July 26 in support of Hillary Clinton’s push for police reforms. Martin’s mother, Sybrina Fulton, described herself as as an “unwilling participant in this movement,” saying, “I would not have signed up for this. I’m here today for my son, Trayvon Martin, who’s in heaven.”
Beyoncé performed the VMA’s longest number Sunday night, a 16-minute medley of hits from her Lemonade album. Other performers included Rihanna, Britney Spears, Nick Jonas, Ariana Grande, Future and the Chainsmokers.
AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.