Eyes Open #15


Welcome to the latest puzzle in my ongoing series, Eyes Open, inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement and other civil rights protests.

In previous Eyes Open puzzles, I’ve put a spotlight on important figures, both well-known and obscure, who have affected history in crucial ways. These influential individuals, and their efforts, deserve to be celebrated and remembered.

But one thing I try never to forget is that, just outside that spotlight, however bright or flickering, there are so many nameless, faceless people that also contributed to the cause.

How many Black Panther Party members can we name who helped feed their communities? How many grassroots organizers that went door to door? How many supporters offering water bottles to people marching? How many nurses and carers tending to them after violent responses? How many drivers that helped shuttle people to the polls? How many signatures on vital petitions? How many people carrying those clipboards and pens?

Volunteers that number in the thousands, protesters that number in the tens and hundreds of thousands, voters that number in the millions.

We don’t know those their names. We wouldn’t recognize their faces. But they have all helped change the world.

The subject of today’s puzzle will probably never be known on a national or global stage. I didn’t know his name before reading this article a friend shared with me. You probably don’t know his name yet.

But to the people he stood up for, to the people he represented, to the people he helped, to the people he championed, he was everything. He made a small part of the world a better place for everyone. His legacy is one of bravery, kindness, and selflessness. That’s something we can all aspire to.

I hope this puzzle serves to both engage you as a solver and encourage you to learn more, not just about this “unapologetic fighter for truth, transparency and justice,” but the many people like him in your own community and elsewhere.

[Click this link to download a PDF of this puzzle.]

If you have suggestions for more topics for me to cover in future puzzles, please let me know. If you’re a person of color and you’d like to share a puzzle of your own, or to collaborate with me on a puzzle, please let me know.

If you’re a member of the LGBTQ community, and you have ideas, please let me know. If you’re a trans person, or a non-binary individual, and you feel underrepresented in puzzles, please let me know.

I would like this to become something bigger, but hopefully, this is at the very least a start.

Thank you for reading. Thank you for standing up, speaking up, and fighting the good fight.

Support LGBTQIA+ people.
Believe women.
Black lives matter.

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