Babynames.com shares a powerful image in solidarity with #BlackLivesMatter and #SayTheirNames
Babynames.com, the “#1 site for names and meanings,” took a break from sharing trending baby names to honor the Black Lives Matter movement in a surprising show of solidarity. When you log onto the site, the first thing you see is a giant black square listing the names of Black men and women who have lost their lives in recent years as a direct result of police brutality.
“Each one of these names was somebody’s baby,” Babynames.com wrote in a caption alongside a lengthy list of names including Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice, Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Philando Castile, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd.
This is a significant move, considering the wide swath of Americans who visit Babynames.com, including many Americans who aren’t exposed to, or even go out of their way to avoid, the Black Lives Matter movement. Sharing the names of the men and women who were killed by police and social media campaigns like #SayTheirNames is important because it gets away from statistics and focuses on honoring and remembering the victims as people who lived lives that were cut short, who were all “somebody’s baby.”
“The statement we’re making is that these are not just names on a page, but loved ones,” a Babynames.com rep told Jezebel while adding that they plan to make a donation to Black Lives Matter. They also added that the graphic was inspired by one that NPR shared last month which NPR calls “a non-comprehensive list of deaths” of Black people since Eric Garner’s death in 2014.
George Floyd’s death kicked off nationwide protests and increased awareness for racial injustice, but sadly the list of names is still growing. On Monday, June 8, 2020, the names Justin Howell, Sean Monterrosa, and Jamel Floyd were trending on social media, making them the latest men of color who were injured or killed by law enforcement officers this week.
In Minneapolis, two University of Pennsylvania students erected tombstones with the aforementioned names in what is now being called the ‘Say their Names’ cemetery. Over 100 names are memorialized at the park and the creators are still adding more.
BabyNames said that they weren’t sure how long they would keep the graphic on their site, regardless, we must continue to #SayTheirNames.