I grew up around 15 minutes from Ferguson and was home the day Mike Brown was shot and the following uprisings. Then I abruptly flew back to Southern California to somehow focus on my studies at University. My self-esteem plummeted, and I lived in a constant state of fear for my black father, black cousins and black friends. We needed reassurance. The black community was hurting after years of systematic oppression and Black Lives Matter was born to be that voice of comfort. I didn’t realize telling my friends and family — such as my little cousins who barely understood what was going on —that their life mattered would somehow become a controversial statement or a declaration that separated the nation, but it did and #AllLivesMatter was born.What frustrated me the most was how All Lives Matter tweets and phrases started to appear out of the woodwork as a direct response to Black Lives Matter. I thought it made sense that after seeing TV broadcast after broadcast of unarmed black men being shot 10+ times like animals, that maybe, just maybe some black people might not feel like their lives were valued. I thought maybe after repeatedly seeing pictures of Mike Brown's body spilling blood, or Eric Garner dying before my eyes would garner empathy, but the phrase “black lives matter” was met with resistance and misunderstanding from those who thought black empowerment meant black supremacy. So I was told over and over to be quiet and accept that "all lives matter."