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Black Lives Matter: From Hashtag to Full-blown Movement

Hundreds of Black Lives Matter activists, black and white, marched outside the Minnesota State Fair this weekend, hoping to bring attention to the deaths of African-Americans at the hands of police.

Inside the fair, a booth also represented the group, with T-shirts bearing the slogans “Black Lives Matter” and “All Lives Matter” for sale. Todd Gramenz, who reserved the booth, chatted with fairgoers while the other protesters were kept outside. The competing activities in Minnesota underscore the challenge that Black Lives Matter faces as it evolves from social media hashtag to full-blown movement. Its fluid, organic nature and loosely organized structure generate confusion about exactly who is in charge, who can legitimately speak for the group and its long-term goals.

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