This logo designed by Josiah Wedgewood in 1787 was designed for a UK based slavery abolitionist NGO. "Am I not a man and a brother" then became a catchphrase for the movement to end slavery in both the UK and America. It calls us to recognize the humanity of those who were enslaved, many of whom were from Africa.
This work for dignity is rooted in the belief that human beings are created in the image of God and as such have infinite worth. When we dehumanize people and treat "them" as "the other", it allows us to diminish the value of precious image bearers of God and treat them in ways that fail to recognize us and the image of God in them.
When we say#BlackLivesMatter in the USA, we are joining in this historical call to affirm the humanity of #BlackLives, many of whom are the descendants of those who were victims of the dehumanizing slave trade. We are joining the centuries long struggle and calling for the treatment of all people as valuable image bearers of God. We are saying that the systemic racism that allows dehumanization, prejudice, stereotyping and all the abhorrent abusive and violent acts that follow must end because #BlackLivesMatter... they did in 1787 and they do now in 2016! #BlackLivesMatter!!!