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Holda Wilcox ’51 at Cooperstown Rally, Recalls First Protest in 1946

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On June 7, 2020, a large crowd of around 800 people filled the courthouse lawn in Cooperstown, Minneapolis where they rallied for 2,5h for justice.

Otsego Country’s Daily Newspaper/ONLINE reports that Sunday’s protest was the third rally in the region since the murder of George Floyd on May 25. One of the speakers, Wesley Lippitt, testified to a majority white crowd that “Racism is here.” He recounted being chased by an armed classmate at the age of 16, who shot him in Cooperstown Park on a sunny Good Friday.

“Lippitt, then 16, was wounded when Anthony Pacherille, 15, later imprisoned for eight years, cornered him in the police station in the basement of Village Hall and fired.” Lippitt then told the crowd that, “We need your voices.”

Amongst the many protestors interviewed by Otsego County’s Daily Newspaper was Hilda Wilcox ’51. In her statement, Wilcox recalled her first experience at a protest in 1946 as a student at Antioch College. She participated in an effort to desegregate a lunch counter in Dayton, Ohio. At the time, it was believed that this protest was unsuccessful, but by raising her voice and standing up for justice, she has surely helped further the movement.

As we gather in protest in the coming weeks and months, let us not forget that each and every effort is a step towards furthering the movement. You have strength in your voice, and there exists strength in numbers. By working together with your community, your actions can have a meaningful impact and you have the power to change lives one day at a time.

Image courtesy of Jim Kevin on