BLM Patrisse Cullors withdraws from the founding of the movement


The Black Lives Matter co-founder announced Thursday that he would resign as executive secretary of the movement’s founding following a smear campaign by the far-right group and recent criticism from other black organizers.

Patrice Colors, who has headed the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation for nearly six years, wants to focus on other projects, like the release of a second book and a multi-year TV development contract with Warner. He said he would be leaving the company. His last day at the Bros. is Friday.

“We’ve created the infrastructure and the support, the bones and the foundation that we need, so that we can go,” Colors told The Associated Press. “We have the impression that it is time.”

Mr. Colors’ retirement follows a surge of support and political influence in the United States and around the world for the BLM movement, created almost eight years ago as a result of the unfair treatment of black Americans. This happened shortly after the controversy over Foundation finances and Colors’ personal property.

A 37-year-old activist said her resignation had been pending for over a year and had nothing to do with personal attacks by the far-right group or disagreements within the movement.

“These are attacks from the right that try to hurt my personality, and I don’t act on what the right thinks of me,” Colors said.

With his retirement, the Foundation will welcome two new interim senior executives to help with the immediate management. Longtime BLM organizer and founder of the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement in New York. Monifa Bandere and one of the early Makani Tenba supporters. Chief strategist for the BLM movement of top ground change strategies in Jackson, Mississippi.

“Both have a lot of management experience as well as a lot of exercise experience,” says Colors.

The BLM Foundation told AP it received more than $ 90 million in February last year following the murder of a black man, George Floyd, who died under the knees of a white Minneapolis policeman. in May 2020. The Foundation closed 2020 with more than $ 60 million after spending nearly a quarter of its assets on operating expenses, grants to black-led organizations, and other philanthropic donations.

Critics of the Foundation argue that more money should be given to black families who have been the victims of police atrocities: they lacked access to the resources to deal with trauma and loss. ..

Reverend T. Sheri Dickerson, president of the Oklahoma City BLM branch and representative of # BLM10, a national organizing group that has publicly criticized the Foundation for its funding and transparency, said: It’s a tragic aspect. “

“Some (family members) feel exploited and I know their pain is being exploited, but I never wanted to get involved in it,” Dickerson said. ..

Colors and the Foundation said they will support their families without disclosing or disclosing the amount.

In 2020, the BLM Foundation established its branch network as a sister organization called BLM Grassroots to help build its capacity as a charitable organization. Many groups use “Black Lives Matter” or “BLM” in their names, but less than 12 are considered Chapter Network Affiliates.

Last month, Colors was targeted by conservative editors who falsely claimed to have received a hefty salary from the Foundation for her recent purchase of a house in Southern California.

In April, the Foundation received a total of $ 120,000 since the organization’s inception in 2013 for missions such as being a spokesperson and engaging in political education work before 2019. He said that he was executive director of volunteers.

In a statement, the Foundation said: “As a registered 501c3 non-profit organization, (the Foundation) has not been unable or committed to investing the organization’s resources in the purchase of personal property by employees or volunteers. “Any suggestion or statement that goes against this is categorically wrong.”

In 2018 Colors released “When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir” and became the New York Times bestseller. She also consulted on many racist projects other than BLM and was personally rewarded for the work.

The BLM movement with her has come a long way since being acquitted by George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer who killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in Florida since it was launched as a hashtag on social media.

Matter, along with BLM co-founders Alicia Garza and Opal Tometi, pledged to build a decentralized movement based on the consensus of a collective of members. A network of agencies was formed in 2015, inundated with donations and support. Garza and Tometti quickly left their daily involvement in the network and focused on their projects.

The most famous co-founder, Mr. Colors, became the Foundation’s full-time director last year, purely in need.

“We needed her,” said Melina Abdullah, who runs BLM Grassroots and co-founded with Cullors, BLM’s first official Los Angeles branch.

“George Floyd was killed and the whole world rose up,” Abdullah told The Associated Press. “I want her to stay with me forever, but I also know that’s unrealistic. The real challenge for any organization is whether it can survive after the departure of its founder. I have no doubt that Black Lives Matter will survive, grow and evolve even if our last co-founder leaves the formal role. “

On October 5, St. Martin’s Press will publish Colors’ latest book, An Abolitionists Handbook. Colors also develops and produces original cable and streaming TV content focused on Black Stories under a multi-year contract with Warner Bros. Pictures.

His first TV project is slated to debut in July.

“I’m not running the largest and most controversial organization in the history of our movement, so I think it’s probably less noticeable,” Colors said.

“I know I’m a leader and don’t hesitate, but no movement is a leader.”


Morrison is a member of the AP Racial and Ethnic Team. Follow him on Twitter:

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