Black Lives Matter Movement

Students show support


Magda McGowan

Magda McGowan at a peaceful protest for Black Lives Matter. Photo courtesy Magda McGowan.

Alex Moats, Rampage Managing Editor

Lately, the world has been struggling to find peace and unity. Whether it is COVID-19, politics, or movements like Black Lives Matter, our world is divided. 

Black Lives Matter (or BLM), is a global organization founded in 2013, whose mission is to eradicate white supremacy and violence inflicted on black communities by the state and vigilantes. 

Three black women: Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, and Opal Tometi, founded Black Lives Matter in response to the acquittal in the Trayvon Martin case. 

According to, “Our goal is to support the development of new Black leaders, as well as create a network where Black people feel empowered to determine our destinies in our communities.”

Junior Brock Underhill is a proud supporter of Black Lives Matter and believes it is very important.

Black Lives Matter is important because it amplifies the voice of those who are fighting against racism and injustice,” said Underhill. “It gives us the opportunity to take a stand against the system and people that have forced us to be quiet and obedient for so long.” 

Senior Magda McGowan is also a proud activist who supports the movement.

“BLM is important because it addresses the discrimination, racial profiling and injustices that minorities face in everyday life,” said McGowan. “There are many people who do not realize or understand how other people are treated based on their skin color and the more people know, the more progress and change can be made.”

Underhill wants people to know that the movement is not a trend and that it is not going away anytime soon.

“One of the most important things to know about this movement is that it’s not just some trend that will fade away in a few months. Our fight for justice and equality has gone on too long to just give up and quit when people decide it’s no longer trendy or interesting,” said Underhill. “This movement, and many others before it, were created to combat the systemic racism that is deeply rooted in our country’s media, government, and law enforcement.”

There are many ways for people to support the Black Lives Matter movement and Black communities. 

Magda McGowan at a peaceful protest for Black Lives Matter. Photo courtesy Magda McGowan.

“You can go to protests, buy from Black-owned businesses, raise awareness about racism through social media, donate money to the movement or other Black empowerment organizations, call out racism when you see or hear it, and so much more,” said Underhill.

McGowan also listed some ways to show your support for the movement.

“Protest, HAVE CONVERSATIONS, do research and understand colorism, prejudices, biases. Have an open mind and a listening ear, have sympathy, and acknowledge that you may not be right,” said McGowan.

McGowan attended a peaceful protest over this past summer, and said it was a very moving experience.

“It is important to protest because when you have a group of people who are upset or want change, eventually the people in higher positions will have to listen,” said McGowan. “Protests are what wakes people up and gets them thinking about what is going on in our country and why it needs to change.”

McGowan encourages everyone to go out and protest.

“Everyone should protest, this is not about Blacks vs. cops or Black people vs White people, it is understanding that people of color are not treated right and things need to change. This is a human rights issue more than anything so everyone should be just as mad and upset as those who are affected first hand by the injustices in this country when it comes to your skin color,” said McGowan. “If we truly want change, every race and background needs to stand up and say something. People of color in this country are a very small percentage of the population so not much change will come, it takes everyone.”

Underhill makes it clear that an important step in showing support for the movement is by simply educating yourself.

“Racism and racial hatred are deeply rooted in ignorance and stupidity, which is why it’s extremely important to be aware and educated about the racism that many people are faced with on a regular basis,” said Underhill. “If you don’t take the time to educate yourself about the injustice and racism in our world, then sooner or later your ignorance will lead you to become part of the problem.”

Acknowledging privilege is a great way to educate yourself.

“It’s extremely important for people to know that White privilege is 100% real, and most people who don’t think it exists just don’t fully understand what it means,” said Underhill. “It simply means that, because this country was built for White people, by White people, none of the obstacles White people face are a result of the system holding them back because of their color or race.”

It is critical to support the Black Lives Matter movement and to make sure BIPOC (Black, indigenous, and people of color) are being heard in order to create unity. 

“Whether people choose to believe it or not, racism is still very much alive and active in this country, and a lot of it comes from the fact that America has been built on the idea that the word ‘normal’ pretty much just means white,” said Underhill.

Underhill overall encourages people to appreciate the different cultures and backgrounds minorities bring to the table, and to include everybody.

“The existence of this racist idea puts BIPOC at a huge disadvantage from the second they are born; and by supporting the fight for equality and true justice for all, you are helping redefine the word ‘normal’ to include all humans and their beautifully unique appearances, cultures, and backgrounds,” said Underhill.