GUEST ROOM | Understanding the BLM Movement from a Non-Black Perspective

I am not black. So the question I asked myself, over and over again, as I watched protest after protest unfold around the country was this: How can I make sure that when I join in protest, hold up a sign or post a hashtag on my Instagram, I am not merely saying the words “Black Lives Matter,” but representing them? How can I make sure I am doing this for the right reasons? How can I possibly understand the racial discrimination faced by Black Americans? During my time at Cornell, especially competing for the Cornell Speech Team, I learned a valuable lesson: The best way to understand, the best way to relate to a story that is not yours, is simply to find within your own experiences the same emotions, the same reactions that you are seeing in the ones you want to relate to.

Student-Athletes of Color Shed Light on Racial Injustice Within Cornell Athletic Community

When Jay Matthews, a rising junior midfielder on women’s soccer, founded WOCCA in March, the need for a space dedicated to Cornell’s female athletes of color was already obvious. Now, in the wake of George Floyd’s murder and increased attention to police brutality nationwide, the group is increasingly vital for projecting the voices of Cornell’s black athletes.

Hundreds March from Ho Plaza to Ithaca Police Headquarters, Decrying Police Brutality

In front of the Ithaca Police Department, after a peaceful march filled with chants from the heart of Cornell’s campus to the Commons, a light rain began. The crowd of over a thousand knelt on the pavement in front of the police department for eight minutes and 46 seconds — the time it took for former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin to suffocate George Floyd to death.