08/13/2015 02:39 EDT | Updated 08/13/2015 02:59 EDT

3 Prominent Black Twitter Activists Read Their Tweets After #Ferguson

"My biggest fear is I won't hear about the next black man being killed by police because it'll be me."

Last year on Aug. 9, Michael Brown, an 18-year-old unarmed black teenager was shot dead by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri.

Since that time, three ordinary people — a teacher, a school administrator and a temporary government employee — have become activists, their words on social media breathing new life into the #BlackLivesMatter movement. But what began as messages under 140 characters eventually transformed into protests demanding government accountability and change.

While people gathered together in Ferguson to honour the anniversary of Michael Brown's death, Johnetta Elzie, DeRay Mckesson and Zellie Imani sat down with The New York Times to talk about how their tweets impacted the hearts and minds of people around the world.

"All I had was my Twitter and my Facebook and my Tumblr ... I felt and I really believed that someone somewhere would care about what I was saying," said Johnetta Elzie in the video above.

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