The White Man’s Guide to Black History Month

Hey team!

I’m Daniel, and six years ago I recognized my white privilege. Phew! Thank golly. Well I’m sure all of you know that African American history month can be really awkward for us Caucasians here at Cornell. But fear not! I’ve compiled a list of the best ways to survive life on the hill from what I’ve learned over these awkward few weeks.

1.   Don’t watch Twelve Years a Slave.

The number one mistake white people make during African American history month is watching Twelve Years a Slave. It’s a classic mistake that will vividly force you to confront the fact that my great grandfather might have owned yours.  Yikes! That doesn’t sound like any fun.

2.  Post an MLK quote

Post the chillest Martin Luther King Jr. quote you can find on Facebook. Make sure it’s about peace and/or love. Not one of those weird ones where he justifies urban riots.

3. Remember Cornell is diverse

Forget that only 5.5 percent of all full-time faculty at Cornell are black. Seriously, just forget it. Right now. Have you forgotten it yet?

4. Pat a black person on the back

Walk up to a black person, give them a warm pat on the back and whisper “I’m glad you’re African American.” This is a great way to make up for centuries of racial conflict.

5. Be convinced it’s not your fault

Finally, and most important: know that you are not a part of the problem.


Good luck out there!

In solidarity,

Your white brother

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