By: Gabby Robinson
In these past few months, the Black Lives Matter movement has come into the spotlight, following the murder of George Floyd and the resulting protests. Created in July of 2013, Black Lives Matter (BLM) is a movement demanding non-violent civil disobedience in protest against police brutality and all racially-motivated violence oppressing African American people. The movement advocates for the defunding of police and direct investment into black communities.
“More people seem to care about me now,” stated African American junior Isaiah Davis. People around the world are coming together in support of this movement and East High School students are no exception. Students have expressed their support in various ways. Students of color like sophomore Lily Jordan have organized East-specific protests after the killing of George Floyd. Additional students with caucasian backgrounds, like sophomore Hadley Hagseth, donated online and stayed very proactive on social media by staying up-to-date on the movement and keeping others informed about the topic. Asian-American sophomore Lily Copland found her voice during one of the East-led protests and spoke in support of BLM, describing how Asian-Americans can impact the movement.
The BLM movement has opened the eyes and changed the perspective of many other students. “It has made me realize my privilege and how I can use it to positively impact Black Lives Matter,” explained sophomore Oliver Gottesfeld. Many students, including Gottesfeld, expressed that this movement has made them much more aware of and educated on the topic of BLM.
Additionally, the movement has given some students greater “confidence in their identity,” as senior Fiona Yohannes stated, and has made them feel safer. Lily Jordan added, “It’s made me feel more safe and secure to stand up for my rights.”
Even though many people support Black Lives Matter, there are those who oppose the movement. Unfortunately, on the afternoon of Sep. 17, the Black Lives Matter mural on the north side of East was vandalized as someone decided to spray paint over “Black”, causing the mural to read only “Lives Matter”. This act was devastating to many, but not the first time something like this has happened.
Although they are only in high school, East students can make a difference. As Yohannes said, “supporting the movement gets the statement across, and involving more people who want to help us change the world makes the movement stronger.”