First Advisor

Mark Leymon

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Criminology and Criminal Justice and University Honors


Criminology and Criminal Justice


Racism -- United States -- History, United States -- Race relations, Black lives matter movement, Race discrimination -- United States, Discrimination in law enforcement -- United States




Do Black Lives Matter or do All Lives Matter? That question has been the cause of many debates and conversations across America recently. The All Lives Matter response was created to criticize the Black Lives Matter Movement and operates under the assumption that the movement isn’t needed in America because it is a post racial society. This thesis reviews race theories, racial formation in the United States and racist ideology in the pre- and post-Civil Rights era in order to show why the Black Lives Matter Movement is needed. It looks at the influence colorblindness has on the United States Criminal Justice System and the All Lives Matter response. Finally, this thesis explains why the Black Lives Matter Movement is important and suggest next steps that can be taken by the Black Lives Matter Movement to reach its goal of social justice for black lives.


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