Eric. Michael. Tamir. Philando. Atatiana, Breonna and George.
We only knew their names after they died. But you can find them all on the homepage of BabyNames.com, a popular name planning website for prospective parents.
“Each of these names was somebody’s baby,” the site reads.
Instead of the usual popular name rankings and photos of babies, the site’s homepage shows a black box with dozens of names, all belonging to black Americans who’ve died due to police violence or, in a few cases, at the hands of civilians.
It’s a relatively unexpected message from the site (and a collapsible one that visitors can exit out of if they wish), and another example of corporate entry into the Black Lives Matter movement.
“Black Lives Matter” became a familiar phrase during the 2014 protests in Ferguson, Missouri, which erupted after 18-year-old Michael Brown was shot and killed by police. But most companies have only started to support the movement and embrace the phrase now, as thousands of Americans join protests nationwide to demand justice for black Americans and accountability from police.
Companies like Amazon, Netflix and and Nike have shared messages in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. In some cases, companies are acknowledging their own failings and the racism within their structures.
Many of the corporate statements have been criticized as empty gestures. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell’s statement on the protests was widely derided, as he presided over the league when quarterback Colin Kaepernick began his kneeling protest of police brutality. Kaepernick hasn’t been signed to a team since 2017, which many credit to his political beliefs.
And when Twitter started attaching warning labels to President Donald Trump’s tweets that contained false information, Facebook caught flack for refusing to do the same. CEO Mark Zuckerberg said he’d donate $10 million to groups fighting for racial equality but agreed that the company “needs to do more.”
Notably, Philando Castile’s death after being shot by police in 2016 was captured on Facebook Live, as were a few other fatal encounters with police.