F&M Anthropology Department: Statement of Solidarity Regarding Black Lives Matter

By || Members of The Anthropology Department.

Statement of Solidarity

We, the faculty of the F&M Anthropology Department, stand against white supremacy. We are outraged by the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and by the continuing everyday violence directed at Black communities across the nation. It is time for change. We as a department are committed to teaching in our classrooms histories of inequity that are the platform of the anti-racist struggle in the streets today. We invite this political moment into our classrooms. In this effort, we are guided by scholars like anthropologist Leith Mullings, who suggests that, “anthropology has a set of theoretical perspectives and a methodological tool kit that lends itself to interrogation of new forms of structural racism and to unmasking the hidden transcripts of the process through which difference is transformed into inequality” (Interrogating Racism 2005).

We join communities across the nation and world in condemning white supremacy, systemic racism, and institutionalized violence. As anthropologists we seek to understand oppression in its everyday forms, in both the past and the present, by documenting the quotidian gestures, acts, and manners of speech that undergird systemic inequity, and through the study of the material expressions of inequality. This is the insidiousness of racism, but it is in understanding its trenchant forms that we find a pathway forward by examining our individual roles in upholding a system of structural violence. We acknowledge Anthropology’s deep historical entanglement with racism and colonialism, and we recommit ourselves now more than ever to continuing our work to decolonize anthropological practice in our classrooms, communities, and field sites. Many of us are making changes to our fall classes in order to do just that. We acknowledge the pain our students are experiencing. We feel it too. We grieve this moment with you. We stand with you. We support you. Black Lives Matter!

In deepest appreciation and solidarity. 

Misty L. Bastian

Michael Billig

Monica Cable 

Bridget Guarasci

Tom Hart

Tate LeFevre

Mary Ann Levine

Scott C. Smith

This piece was written by members of The Anthropology Department. Please direct any questions or comments regarding this piece to scott.smith@fandm.edu or reporter@fandnm.edu.

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