Unforgettable Black Lives Matter Protest Signs

"A riot is the language of the unheard."

black lives matter protest sign washington, usa   june 1 protesters hold banners near white house during a protest over the death of george floyd, an unarmed black man who died after being pinned down by a white police officer in washington, united states on june 1, 2020 photo by yasin ozturkanadolu agency via getty images
Anadolu AgencyGetty Images

In recent months and years, people have taken to the streets to protest the racism embedded in the fabric of the United States. The murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis was the catalyst for such activism in 2020, but recent deaths have spurred righteous anger once more. Some of the latest injustices include the police killings of 13-year-old Adam Toledo and 20-year-old Daunte Wright, in addition to the sharp uptick in violence against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI). Sadly, these are just a few examples of the countless acts of racial injustice that continue to plague this country. The placards, signs, and banners in this article range from snarky and funny to poignant and devastating, but they all have one thing in common: They're strong, sometimes wordless statements against brutality and injustice. If you're looking for sign ideas for your next protest, there are some great ideas here (and here's how to keep yourself safe).

Content warning: Some of these signs display words like "murder" and "kill," and others center around violence against BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and people of color) generally or specifically. While awareness and advocacy are both important, so is self-care, so be careful if you think these subjects will trigger you in any way.

brooklyn center, minnesota   april 13  a sign is affixed to fencing surrounding fbi offices following a protest in the shooting death of daunte wright on april 13, 2021 in brooklyn center, minnesota wright, a black man whose car was stopped in town on sunday reportedly for an expired registration, was shot and killed by an officer who police say mistook her service revolver for a taser  photo by scott olsongetty images
Scott OlsonGetty Images
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Brooklyn Center, Minnesota

This Martin Luther King Jr. quote (one that hasn't been used as often until recently) speaks to the importance and significance of the protests.

reno, nevada, united states   20210417 a girl holding a placard saying, my life matters, during the march
protesters gather to march in solidarity with other blm black lives matter demonstrators across the country while the group was heckled by a few they passed by, the march remained peaceful photo by ty oneilsopa imageslightrocket via getty images
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Reno, Nevada

A Black girl holds a sign that says it simply: She matters.

columbus, oh   april 17 a black lives matter activist holds a cardboard sign during a protest against police brutality in front of the ohio statehouse on april 17, 2021 in columbus, ohio demonstrators gathered in response to multiple recent officer involved shootings in the us including miles jackson, 27, who was fatally shot by columbus police in mount carmel st anns hospital in westerville, ohio on april 12 photo by stephen zennergetty images
Stephen ZennerGetty Images
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Columbus, Ohio

A small twist on the iconic statement, to remind people that it's no less true today.

demonstrators signs on the sixth night of protests outside the brooklyn center police department in brooklyn centre, minnesota on april 16, 2021   police officer, kim potter, who shot dead black 20 year old daunte wright in a minneapolis suburb after appearing to mistake her gun for her taser was arrested april 14 on manslaughter charges photo by kerem yucel  afp photo by kerem yucelafp via getty images
KEREM YUCELGetty Images
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Brooklyn Center, Minnesota

Simple, to the point, and aimed directly at the source.

protesters wear bathrobes in support of samira hassan, who was arrested for unlawful assembly while wearing her bathrobe, and march while holding up posters of daunte wright during a sixth night of protest near the brooklyn center police department in brooklyn centre, minnesota on april 16, 2021   police officer, kim potter, who shot dead black 20 year old daunte wright in a minneapolis suburb after appearing to mistake her gun for her taser was arrested april 14 on manslaughter charges photo by kerem yucel  afp photo by kerem yucelafp via getty images
KEREM YUCELGetty Images
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Brooklyn Center, Minnesota

Some of the protesters referenced recent victims of police brutality—like this beautiful painting of Daunte Wright.

philadelphia, pa   april 13  an activist holds a placard stating "murder is not an accident" during a march to protest the death of daunte wright on april 13, 2021 in philadelphia, pennsylvania  people have taken to the streets to protest after daunte wright, a 20 year old black man, was shot and killed by police in brooklyn center, minnesota  photo by mark makelagetty images
Mark MakelaGetty Images
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Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Reinforcing the importance of language—and underscoring the value of lives lost.

columbus, ohio, united states   20210130 protester holds sign that says dont shoot during the march for casey goodson jr
various black lives matters groups collaborated with the family of casey goodson jr to put together a protest commemorating casey goodson jr on his 24th birthday, january 30th casey goodson jr was shot and killed by columbus deputy jason meade in early december 2020, but he would have been twenty four today the protest had a list of demands, including that deputy meade to be fired and arrested the protest began with a rally in goodale park, marched to high st and back photo by stephen zennersopa imageslightrocket via getty images
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Columbus, Ohio

A simple, profound request. "Hands up, don't shoot" has become an enduring chant.

cardiff, wales   january 14 a woman wearing a face mask holds a sign during a protest outside cardiff bay police station following the death of mohamud mohammed hassan who died shortly after his release from police custody on january 14, 2021 in cardiff, wales mohamud mohammed hassan was arrested at his cardiff home on friday on suspicion of a breach of the peace but released without charge on saturday morning the 24 year old died on saturday night and his family said he claimed he was assaulted in custody south wales police has said no evidence of excessive force or misconduct has been found so far and has referred itself to the independent office for police conduct iopc photo by matthew horwoodgetty images
Matthew HorwoodGetty Images
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Cardiff, Wales

Underscoring the purpose of demonstrations, this sign also points out the fallacy about violence and protests.

black lives matter protest sign protesters chanting slogans and saying that quotwe are scaredquot  during a rally to protest the police involved deaths in north america, in toronto, canada, on may 30, 2020 george  floyd died after being restrained by minneapolis police officers on memorial day   photo by arindam shivaaninurphoto via getty images
NurPhotoGetty Images
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Toronto, Canada

A young woman holds up a sign expressing the sacredness of BIPOC lives and bodies.

black lives matter protest sign manhattan, ny   june 02 a man on cheering on the protesters as they make their way down broadway street holds a flower and a sign that says, "am i next" protesters walked from foley square to washington square park for a peaceful moment of reflection for those that have been killed  protesters took to the streets across america after the killing of george floyd at the hands of a white police officer derek chauvin that was kneeling on his neck during his arrest as he pleaded that he couldn't breathe the protest are attempting to give a voice to the need for human rights for african american's and to stop police brutality against people of color  many people were wearing masks and observing social distancing due to the coronavirus pandemic  leaders of the protest were clear that they wanted it to be a peaceful protest in light of nights of unrest looting and destruction  photographed in the manhattan borough of new york on june 02, 2020, usa  photo by ira l blackcorbis via getty images
Ira L. Black - CorbisGetty Images
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New York, NY

A male protester holds a flower and wonders, "Am I next?"

black lives matter protest sign manhattan, ny   june 07  a caucasian protester in times square holds up a sign that reads, "vote for change"  this was part of the black lives matter new york blmny protest that offered a blueprint for change and called on new york state legislators and members of congress to end the slaughter of black persons by the very institutions charged with protecting them  the blueprint is a policy platform to reform failed statutes and regulations and to  begin reforming to a more civil and just society this includes the i can't breathe act, the blue wall act, repealing of 50 a statute and includes housing and education reforms protesters keep taking to the streets across america and around the world after the killing of george floyd at the hands of a white police officer derek chauvin that was kneeling on his neck during his arrest as he pleaded that he couldn't breathe the protest are attempting to give a voice to the need for human rights for african american's and to stop police brutality against people of color  many people were wearing masks and observing social distancing due to the coronavirus pandemic  photographed in the manhattan borough of new york on june 07, 2020, usa  photo by ira l blackcorbis via getty images
Ira L. Black - CorbisGetty Images
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New York, NY

Protesting is important. So is voting to continue working for change, at both the local and national levels.

black lives matter protest sign madrid, spain   june 07 editors note image contains profanity a woman shows a placard during the demonstration organized in support of george floyd and against racism on june 07 2020, in madrid, spain this demonstration, which began at the usa embassy, comes in the middle of de escalation plans due to covid 19 outbreak in spain the death of george floyd by police in united states has caused protests against institutional racism, boosted the black live matter movement across the country as well as demonstrations of solidarity in many countries around the world photo by sergio belenaviewpress via getty images
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Madrid, Spain

Maybe a little profane, if you happen to be protesting with your kids, but one of my personal favorites.

black lives matter protest sign edinburgh, scotland    june 07 a dog wears a sign saying good boys against racism as black lives matter protesters hang their banners on the fence of holyrood palace, despite a call by first minister, nicola sturgeon and others to find other forms of protest because of lockdown rules and coronavirus fears on june 7, 2020 in edinburgh, scotlandthe death of an african american man, george floyd, while in the custody of minneapolis police has sparked protests across the united states, as well as demonstrations of solidarity in many countries around the world photo by jeff j mitchellgetty images
Jeff J MitchellGetty Images
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Edinburgh, Scotland

Goodest boy ever? Goodest boy ever. (Also worth pointing out the nice counterpoint to "All Lives Matter" on the left.)

black lives matter protest sign manhattan, new york, united states   20200530 a woman wearing a facemask holds a protest placard reading for my future children on the fourth straight day of  the george floyd killing protests
several protesters in new york, march on the fourth straight day in protest of the killing of george floyd by a minneapolis police officer during covid 19 pandemic photo by ron adarsopa imageslightrocket via getty images
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New York, NY

A young woman implores for equality for her future kids.

black lives matter protest sign demonstrators protesting the death of george floyd hold up placards up near the white house on may 31, 2020 in washington, dc   thousands of national guard troops patrolled major us cities  after five consecutive nights of protests over racism and police brutality that boiled over into arson and looting, sending shock waves through the country the death monday of an unarmed black man, george floyd, at the hands of police in minneapolis ignited this latest wave of outrage in the us over law enforcements repeated use of lethal force against african americans    this one like others before captured on cellphone video photo by roberto schmidt  afp photo by roberto schmidtafp via getty images
ROBERTO SCHMIDTGetty Images
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Washington, D.C.

An excerpt from a classic James Baldwin line: "To be a Negro in this country and to be relatively conscious is to be in a rage almost all the time."

black lives matter protest sign a black woman is screaming while holding a big placard, during the massive solidarity protest against anti black violence in the us and eu, that took place in amsterdam, on june 1st photo by romy arroyo fernandeznurphoto via getty images
NurPhotoGetty Images
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Amsterdam, The Netherlands

A Black woman holds a sign asking for respect of Black people—in the same way that Black culture is accepted (and glorified) by society.

black lives matter protest sign manhattan, new york, united states   20200530 a protester holds a placard with words reading you cant kill us all on the fourth straight day of the george floyd killing protests
several protesters in new york, march on the fourth straight day in protest of the killing of george floyd by a minneapolis police officer during covid 19 pandemic photo by ron adarsopa imageslightrocket via getty images
SOPA ImagesGetty Images
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New York, NY

A woman holds a sign reading, "You can't kill us all" as she puts her head out of the roof deck of a car.

black lives matter protest sign, people protest during the march in memory of george floyd krakow, poland on june 7, 2020 george floyd, a 46 year old african american man, died on 25 may in minneapolis while he was being restrained by the police video footage of the incident showed an officer kneeling on floyds neck as he gasped for breath in response to the death  demonstrations broke out across the us and other countries  photo by beata zawrzelnurphoto via getty images
NurPhotoGetty Images
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Krakow, Poland

A young woman lays it out: Every Black life matters.

black lives matter protest sign washington, usa   may 29 a person holds a banner reading 7 min to kill a black man, 3 days to arrest a murderer as crowds gather to protest after the death of george floyd in washington dc united states on may 29, 2020 floyd, 46, a black man, was arrested monday after reportedly attempting to use a counterfeit 20 bill at a local store video footage on facebook showed him handcuffed and cooperating but police claimed he resisted arrest a white officer kneeled on his neck, despite floydâs repeated pleas of i cant breathe former police officer derek chauvin was charged with third degree murder and manslaughter, according to hennepin county prosecutor michael freeman minneapolis, minnesota mayor jacob frey said friday he imposed a mandatory curfew because of ongoing protests regarding the death of george floyd photo by yasin ozturkanadolu agency via getty images
Anadolu AgencyGetty Images
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Washington, D.C.

This sign references the death of Floyd, and the delay in arresting the Minneapolis officer who killed him.

black lives matter protest sign boyertown, pa   june 2 people stand along philadelphia ave holding signs during a boyertown black lives matter silent protest held in boyertown tuesday night june 2, 2020 along east philadelphia ave the line of people standing along the street holding signs extended from reading ave for 6 miles to the middle of the 600 block of east philadelphia ave many of the protesters worn face masks as a precaution against the spread of coronavirus  covid 19 photo by ben hastymedianews groupreading eagle via getty images
MediaNews Group/Reading Eagle via Getty ImagesGetty Images
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Boyertown, PA

A young woman makes a reference to the COVID-19 pandemic (and wears a mask to practice safety measures) but alludes to Floyd's words: "I can't breathe."

black lives matter protest sign washington, usa   may 29 a person holds a banner reading protect black women, as crowds gather to protest after the death of george floyd in washington dc united states on may 29, 2020 floyd, 46, a black man, was arrested monday after reportedly attempting to use a counterfeit 20 bill at a local store video footage on facebook showed him handcuffed and cooperating but police claimed he resisted arrest a white officer kneeled on his neck, despite floydâs repeated pleas of i cant breathe former police officer derek chauvin was charged with third degree murder and manslaughter, according to hennepin county prosecutor michael freeman minneapolis, minnesota mayor jacob frey said friday he imposed a mandatory curfew because of ongoing protests regarding the death of george floyd photo by yasin ozturkanadolu agency via getty images
Anadolu AgencyGetty Images
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Washington, D.C.

Even though many of the signs referenced Floyd, others referenced female BIPOC lives lost, including Breonna Taylor, and how their lives matter, too.

black lives matter protest sign, people protest during the march in memory of george floyd krakow, poland on june 7, 2020 george floyd, a 46 year old african american man, died on 25 may in minneapolis while he was being restrained by the police video footage of the incident showed an officer kneeling on floyds neck as he gasped for breath in response to the death  demonstrations broke out across the us and other countries  photo by beata zawrzelnurphoto via getty images
NurPhotoGetty Images
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Krakow, Poland

And another protester calls her out by name with a heartbreaking portrait.

black lives matter protest sign protestors march holding placards during a protest for the end of police brutaity during a rally organized by the charlotte naacp in uptown charlotte, north carolina on june 2, 2020   charlotte is the designated city to hold the republican convention from august 24 until august 27 photo by logan cyrus  afp photo by logan cyrusafp via getty images
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Charlotte, NC

A note of levity among the more serious: Even "Karens" can help in the movement.

black lives matter protest sign a man holds a placard during a justice for george floyd event in houston, texas on may 30, 2020, after george floyd, an unarmed black, died while being arrested and pinned to the ground by a minneapolis police officer   clashes broke out and major cities imposed curfews as america began another night of unrest saturday with angry demonstrators ignoring warnings from president donald trump that his government would stop violent protests over police brutality cold photo by mark felix  afp photo by mark felixafp via getty images
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Houston, TX

A white man stands for Black Lives Matter and against racism in Texas.

black lives matter protest sign barcelona, spain   20200607 protesters hold placards against racism during the demonstrationas a result of the death of george floyd while he was detained by the minneapolis police, minnesota, thousands of people demonstrate in barcelona against racism photo by paco freiresopa imageslightrocket via getty images
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Barcelona, Spain

A protester notes that this is not a sign of division between races, but a sign of unity against racial injustice.

black lives matter protest sign new york, united states   20200530 a protester marching while carrying a placard passed police officers during a demonstration
several protests around us have been spurred by the death of george floyd, in most cases turning into violent clashes with police photo by braulio jatarsopa imageslightrocket via getty images
SOPA ImagesGetty Images
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New York, NY

A woman wonders, "Who do you call when the police murder?"

black lives matter protest sign protesters hold placards as they sit around the edges of parliament square in central london after attending a demonstration outside the us embassy, on june 7, 2020, organised to show solidarity with the black lives matter movement in the wake of the killing of george floyd, an unarmed black man who died after a police officer knelt on his neck in minneapolis   taking a knee, banging drums and ignoring social distancing measures, outraged protesters from sydney to london on saturday kicked off a weekend of global rallies against racism and police brutality photo by isabel infantes  afp photo by isabel infantesafp via getty images
ISABEL INFANTESGetty Images
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London, England

Two women, one Black, one white, have a pair of signs that speak volumes.

black lives matter protest sign protesters chanting slogans ans saying quotblack lives matter quotduring a rally to protest the police involved deaths in north america, in toronto, canada, on may 30, 2020 george  floyd died after being restrained by minneapolis police officers on memorial day   photo by arindam shivaaninurphoto via getty images
NurPhotoGetty Images
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Toronto, Canada

A man presents an ultimatum.

black lives matter protest sign manhattan, ny   june 02 a protester carries a hand painted picture of a red fist in the air at the top of a flower made to resemble a rose against the buildings in foley square as the protesters gather and prepare to walk from foley square past the 1 police plaza on their way to washington square park for a peaceful moment of reflection for those that have been killed  protesters took to the streets across america after the killing of george floyd at the hands of a white police officer derek chauvin that was kneeling on his neck during his arrest as he pleaded that he couldnt breathe the protest are attempting to give a voice to the need for human rights for african americans and to stop police brutality against people of color  many people were wearing masks and observing social distancing due to the coronavirus pandemic  leaders of the protest were clear that they wanted it to be a peaceful protest in light of nights of unrest looting and destruction  photographed in foley square in the  manhattan borough of new york on june 02, 2020, usa  photo by ira l blackcorbis via getty images
Ira L. Black - CorbisGetty Images
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New York, NY

A wordless painting saying a thousand words: A closed fist, a sign of support and resistance, that turns into a rose.

black lives matter protest sign marin city, california   june 02 protesters hold signs during a demonstration to honor of george floyd on june 02, 2020 in marin city, california hundreds of of people came out to honor george floyd who died after being held down by derek chauvin, a former member of the minneapolis police department who has since been fired and charged with third degree murder photo by justin sullivangetty images
Justin SullivanGetty Images
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Marin City, CA

Short, simple, to the point: Enough is "enough."

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