Association of Black Anthropologists

ABA is a section of the American Anthropological Association

Author: Orisanmi

ABA Stages Protest and Issues Statement Condemning Police Violence and Anti-Black Practices

ABA Stages a “Die In” at AAA 2014

 

ABA Statement Against Police Violence and Anti-Black Practices

The Association of Black Anthropologists condemns, in no uncertain terms, the ongoing terrorism waged against Black U.S. communities by the state, police, and White vigilantes. We condemn the executions of our boys and girls, women and men by the police in Ferguson, Staten Island, Saratoga Springs, Los Angeles, and throughout the country. We also recognize that these forms of state violence are perpetrated against Black people globally. We are enraged by the fact that no police officer has been indicted in the recent murders of Aiyanna Jones, Michael Brown and Eric Garner; and we are outraged that in the hundred days since the murder of Michael Brown, police have also murdered unarmed Ezell Ford, unarmed Tanisha Anderson, unarmed Roshad McIntosh, unarmed Akai Gurley, unarmed Dante Parker and unarmed Kajieme Powell. These are state-sponsored massacres of our people, massacres enabled by a long history of national and global anti-Blackness.

As it pertains to the ongoing atrocities of the criminal justice system in this country – alongside those who spoke before the United Nations in November, we charge genocide.[1]

As members of the academic discipline with the distinctive history of establishing the language and “science” of race to justify settler colonialism and slavery, we recognize full well that the root of today’s anti-Black state-sponsored violence in the U.S. is white supremacy. We know that our discipline played a significant role in developing the trope of a particular Black subject – the “urban” Black – that has been deployed by society at large to dehumanize Black people.  At the same time, we also realize that our discipline has been tepid in fruitfully acknowledging and addressing its own white supremacist foundation. We therefore call on our colleagues in the American Anthropological Association to join us in not only condemning this history but also in affirming that Black Lives Matter – beyond the role of ethnographic subjects and cultural vessels. We call on our colleagues in anthropology to stand against the U.S. state’s terrorism against Black and Brown peoples. We call on our colleagues to join us in demanding redress and restitution, with expediency.

As anthropologist Zora Neale Hurston is known to have said, “If you are silent about your pain, they will kill you and say you enjoyed it.” We will not be silent. For members of the American Anthropological Association to be silent at this time given our discipline’s historic complicity in establishing the current order, and when we have the means to make a difference, is criminal.

To this end

  1. We call on the Executive Board of the American Anthropological Association to issue a formal statement that condemns the heinousness of these crimes and calls on our academic guild to more forcefully tackle the problems brought on by racism and racial profiling. We ask that the Executive Board make every effort to make this statement accessible to the general public through mainstream media outlets so the discipline’s stance and investment in these efforts can be widely known.
  2. We call on our colleagues to join the ABA in challenging the power positions from which we produce anthropology.
  3. We join with other anthropologists, and stand in solidarity with people from around the country, in calling on the U.S. Department of Justice to review the use of force by police and to make a commitment to working for the eradication of racism and racialized state violence.

[1] http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2014/11/we-charge-genocide-movement-chicago-un/382843/

ABA at the 2014 AAA Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C.

For more information on the 113th Annual Meeting of the American Association of Anthropologists to be held in Washington, D.C., visit the AAA general information page. Specific ABA conference events will be posted soon.

ABA Statement on The Dominican Republic

The Association of Black Anthropologists (ABA) condemns the recent ruling by the Dominican Republic’s Constitutional Court on September 23, 2013 (Ruling 0168-13), which has created a volatile human rights crisis in the Dominican Republic. As other outraged organizations like Amnesty International, CARICOM (Caribbean Community), the Haitian Studies Association, the National Bar Association, and the governments of Guyana, Trinidad & Tobago and St. Vincent and the Grenadines have observed, the court ruling does the following:

  • It strips citizenship from the offspring of non-resident Haitians born in the Dominican Republic where nationality is conferred by place of birth;
  • It denies Dominican children of Haitian descent the right to an identity and nationality;
  • It overlooks the due process of law; and
  • It disregards the binding character of decisions made by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in favor of Haitian-descended Dominicans.

As a result of the ruling, people of Haitian descent are being stripped of their rights and deported.

The ABA stands in solidarity with the people of Haitian descent in the Dominican Republic and calls on the Dominican Parliament to pass a law countermanding the Constitutional Court’s ruling that renders people of Haitian descent stateless. We also call on the President of the Dominican Republic, Danilo Medina, to sign said legislation into law.

In the spirit of the Haitian Revolution, where people of African descent fought for the right to live dignified lives, we call for an end to the current violence perpetrated against Haitian-descended Dominicans, an end to the deportation of people of Haitian descent, and a prompt resolution of this serious matter. Let us all stand together and act in the interests of humanity and human rights and allow people of Haitian descent in the Dominican Republic to lead safe and dignified lives.

The ABA seeks to ensure that people studied by anthropologists are not only objects of study but active makers and/or participants in their own history. In a larger sense, we intend to highlight situations of exploitation, oppression and discrimination.

More on the Dominican Republic, the Dominican Court Ruling, and Haitians in the Dominican Republic (as of January 22, 2014):

Myriam Chancy
Apartheid in the Americas: Are you Dominican or Haitian?

Dominicans Dispossessed: Fit for Exploitation, Not Citizenship.

Kiran Jayaram
State, Market, Xenophobia: Making Haitian Educational Migrants in the Dominican Republic
Kimberly Simmons
Reconstructing Racial Identity and the African Past in the Dominican Republic
Jemima Pierre
The Dominican Republic Hates Black People
Dr. Jemima Pierre discusses Racial Hatred in the Dominican Republic on Black Agenda Radio

ABA at the AAA Annual Meeting in Chicago 2013

Future Publics, Current Engagements

The 2013 annual meeting theme Future Publics, Current Engagements invites discussions about how anthropological theory and method can provide insight into the human past and emerging future. Read More.

A list of submission types and requirements are listed on the AAA website at: Proposal Submission Types.

Check back soon for more updates!

View last year’s ABA Conference lineup.

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