The brutal killing of George Floyd on May 25, 2020 in Minneapolis has dramatically revived debate about the racial problem in the US, which is far from being solved. "I can't breathe", the last words of the African American, who died under the pressure of the knee of the white policeman, became the motto of the protest that exploded throughout the United States (and beyond) in the days immediately following the umpteenth episode of police brutality. The phrase was already a slogan associated with the non-violent civil disobedience movement Black Lives Matter, which arose in 2013 to protest against the socio-political perpetuation of racism towards African Americans and has been in the spotlight during the recent European Football Championships because of the players’ controversial “taking the knee” gesture. My talk intends to offer a diachronic examination of the phraseology linked to the Afro-American protest in the United States, focusing in particular on the historical, social and political origin of the slogans that have been represented since the 1960s, in an attempt to examine how they became a part of US and global phraseological heritage.

FROM “I HAVE A DREAM” TO “I CAN’T BREATHE”: BLACK PROTEST AND PHRASEOLOGY

Attolino, Paola
2022-01-01

Abstract

The brutal killing of George Floyd on May 25, 2020 in Minneapolis has dramatically revived debate about the racial problem in the US, which is far from being solved. "I can't breathe", the last words of the African American, who died under the pressure of the knee of the white policeman, became the motto of the protest that exploded throughout the United States (and beyond) in the days immediately following the umpteenth episode of police brutality. The phrase was already a slogan associated with the non-violent civil disobedience movement Black Lives Matter, which arose in 2013 to protest against the socio-political perpetuation of racism towards African Americans and has been in the spotlight during the recent European Football Championships because of the players’ controversial “taking the knee” gesture. My talk intends to offer a diachronic examination of the phraseology linked to the Afro-American protest in the United States, focusing in particular on the historical, social and political origin of the slogans that have been represented since the 1960s, in an attempt to examine how they became a part of US and global phraseological heritage.
978-989-53395-2-5
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11386/4809791
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