We are living through a decisive civil rights movement. Black Lives Matter protests have been held daily across the country for over three weeks. A march for Black trans lives in Brooklyn on June 14th drew an estimated 15,000 people to the streets in solidarity.
My valedictorian speech, which will run as part of the English department commencement ceremony on June 20th, does not address this movement. Instead, I talk about Harry Potter.
The department has kindly offered this space for me to share an alternative to the prerecorded original speech, since technical issues prevent me from taking down and redoing the first version.