How support for Black Lives Matter has surged, in one chart

Why We Wrote This

Often opinions on an issue exhibit little change – or shift gradually over time. But sometimes attitudes turn quite suddenly, and on racial justice this looks like one of those breakout moments.

Ricardo B. Brazziell/Austin American-Statesman/AP
Thousands of protesters gather and march peacefully from Huston-Tillotson University to the state Capitol in Austin, Texas, chanting "Black Lives Matter" and "justice" on June 7, 2020.

American public opinion has undergone a major shift this spring amid national focus on the death of George Floyd and racial justice protests, according to one polling group.

Consider that at the time of a 2017 Unite the Right rally by white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia, net public support for the Black Lives Matter movement was about negative 5%, meaning 5% more Americans disapproved of the movement than supported it. 

In recent months that has dramatically changed, after the deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and Mr. Floyd, whose funeral was held this week. Net support for Black Lives Matter recently reached 28% (with 53% approving of the movement and 25% disapproving), according to surveys by the polling group Civiqs.

SOURCE: Civiqs
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Jacob Turcotte/Staff

Editor's note: This story was corrected to say that George Floyd's funeral was held this week. 

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