General discussion
Black Lives Matter, 2020: In their own words

By Michael Mace and LeTisha Shaw

In summer of 2020, a massive series of Black Lives Matter protests rolled across America.  Why did they happen? What messages were the protesters trying to send? There’s been an enormous amount of discussion about that, often led by advocates and analysts with polarized perspectives (link). It’s easy for the voice of the average person to be lost.

In June 2020, UserTesting asked randomly chosen Black people in America how they felt about the overall situation in the country, and the protests in particular. We used those recordings to educate ourselves and our customers. To get candid responses, we promised not to share the videos publicly.

Our decision not to share the videos has always felt like a missed opportunity. The responses we got were heartfelt and outspoken, and we think they can help you understand a situation that’s still very important to the country. So we went back to the participants and asked their permission to share their recordings with the public. Five participants said yes. 

Here, for the first time in public, are their stories:

Q. If you could send a message to the country, what would it be?


Q. How are you feeling about the overall situation in the country?


Q. If you had a magic wand, what would you change about the country?


Q. How do you feel about the Black Lives Matter protests?


Q. How do you feel about the country’s general reaction to the Black Lives Matter protests?


Q. How much stress are you feeling compared to last year?

The recordings were edited for length and clarity, and the faces were blurred to protect the participants’ privacy. 

Photo by Thomas de LUZE on Unsplash

Human Empathy Project sound cues licensed from pond5.com, created by FxProSound and PriitS.

Michael Mace
Michael Mace
VP Market Strategy, UserTesting
Mike works on market strategy for UserTesting. Previously he held marketing and strategy roles at Apple and Palm, and founded two startups.
posts 4
words/post 564
media 19
comments 0
visits 3661