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STATEMENT CONCERNING THE MASSACRE OF BLACK PEOPLE IN BUFFALO, NEW YORK

May 20, 2022

On Saturday, May 14, 2022 an 18-year-old male white supremacist, outfitted in body armor, and carrying a semiautomatic rifle with the N-word painted on the barrel, a shotgun, and a hunting rifle, entered Tops grocery store located in a Black neighborhood in Buffalo, NY and opened fire on shoppers while livestreaming the event on Twitch. In the aftermath of this carnage, thirteen people had been shot, eleven of them Black.

Ten people were killed. The names of those killed were Roberta A. Drury of Buffalo, N.Y., age 32; Margus D. Morrison of Buffalo, N.Y., age 52; Andre Mackneil of Auburn, N.Y., age 53; Aaron Salter of Lockport, N.Y. – age 55; Geraldine Talley of Buffalo, N.Y., age 62; Celestine Chaney of Buffalo, N.Y., age 65; Heyward Patterson of Buffalo, N.Y., age 67; Katherine Massey of Buffalo, N.Y., age 72; Pearl Young of Buffalo, N.Y., age 77; and Ruth Whitfield of Buffalo, N.Y., age 86.

While the details of this act of white supremacist terror are still emerging, it has been revealed that the accused had made his views known to many. In a series of online statements over the past five months, including a one hundred and eighty page “manifesto” espousing white-supremacist beliefs, largely copied from far-right extremism venues such as 4chan, the killer railed against those he called “replacers.” Replacement theory – the belief of far-right white racists (nationalists, Nazis, Klu Klux Klan members, and other white supremacists) that high birth rates among Black people and open immigration policies will one day lead to the end of America’s white majority – has been a regular theme circulated by FOX NEWS, and has been mainstreamed into the largely-white GOP and white communities throughout the U.S. The assassin stated that his goal was to “kill as many Blacks as possible.” And he had intended to continue to kill more Black people after the carnage at the Tops supermarket.

The Association of Black Anthropologists condemns, in no uncertain terms, this act of brutal racist violence. Yet we know that Black people have, from the time of their enslavement, suffered persistent and barbaric racial terror in the U.S.: the lynching sprees of the early 20th century, the violent destruction, including bombings, of Black communities, genocidal police abuse, other vigilante terror such as the 2015 assassination by a white supremacist of the congregants of Mother Emmanuel Church in South Carolina. These are but a sample of the types of racial violence against the US Black community, and they are more than matched by structural racial violence in the form of economic and social inequality, mass incarceration, inadequate health care, and so on.

As Black anthropologists, we know well that this latest attack on Black people is a symptom of the larger structure of white supremacy upon which this country was founded. In fact, the Association of Black Anthropologists repeatedly issues statements decrying the devastating impact of white supremacy on our communities – and the world. 

We call on all anthropologists to not only condemn the Buffalo attack, but to also recognize that this individual act of racist violence is a symptom of a society, and an unequal world, structured through white supremacy. It is no accident that the global far right and neo-Nazi movements are becoming more popular, and attacks against nonwhite and non-Christian communities are increasing. We must treat the disease and not the symptom, and address both the individual and mundane, and the structuring violences that continue to affirm the dominant position of whiteness at the expense of the nonwhite peoples and communities.

In closing, horrific events such as these are reminders that we must not be inured to the normative antiblack violence of the United States. We must also remind ourselves that Black people, wherever they live, must continue to struggle for our right to live lives of dignity and to be free, one day, of the scourge of White supremacy.

You can donate to the following organizations supporting the families and the community devastated by this tragedy:

Buffalo 5/14 Survivors Fund: https://nationalcompassion.org/fund/buffalo-survivors-fund/

Feed More WNY: https://www.feedmorewny.org/donate/

ABA STATEMENT AGAINST POLICE VIOLENCE AND ANTI-BLACK RACISM

June 6, 2020

Almost six years ago the Association of Black Anthropologists staged a memorable die-in and issued a statement in protest against anti-Black racism in the U.S. Today, the U.S. is in flames again because of the escalating domestic terrorism of white vigilantes and police officers who, in a span of months, killed unarmed Ahmaud Aubrey while jogging in a South Georgia neighborhood, unarmed Breonna Taylor in her apartment in Louisville, KY, unarmed George Floyd with a cop’s knee on his neck in Minneapolis, MN, and unarmed Black trans man Tony McDade in Tallahassee, FL. In March 2020, police and paramedics watched as Monika Diamond, a Black trans woman, was shot to death in Charlotte, NC as paramedics were treating her in an ambulance. These murders are in addition to the continuing weaponizing of whiteness – as the country witnessed a white woman threaten to call the police on Black man Christian Cooper who was bird watching in Central Park, New York. 

This pandemic of anti-black racism also finds equal expression in the disproportionate impacts of the novel coronavirus pandemic on the Black population. Though representing only 13 percent of the population, Black Americans account for almost one-third of infections nationwide, and Black Americans are dying of COVID-19 at three times the rate of white people. This health disparity and inequity is the result of Black Americans not only comprising a majority of “essential” jobs that put them at increased risk for COVID-19 infection; it is also the result of centuries of marginalization, disenfranchisement, and stress that translates into poorer health outcomes (co-morbidities or underlying conditions especially) that, again, put Black Americans at increased risk for infection.

As it pertains to the ongoing atrocities of the criminal policing system and the accumulated health effects of racism in this country, we charge genocide as we did in 2014

White supremacist violence is at the heart of the founding of the United States. While the extreme manifestations of this genocidal violence take many forms, and ebbs and flows, the structures remain in place. For Black people, this has meant incalculable racial terror and a continuous struggle against numerous systems of oppression – the policing and carceral apparatus, the inequitable health care system, the education apparatus, social and economic hierarchies, and neoliberal policies among others. Our resolve and determination against these systems of tyranny cannot be understated. But we are aware that there is no way forward if this foundational anti-Blackness is not acknowledged and reckoned with, in this country.

It is for this reason that we firmly assert the nearly-universal claim that “Black Lives Matter,” from allies and supporters, need to be followed up with both introspection and clear and concrete measures for redress and restitution. This action is especially crucial for the discipline of anthropology. 

We urge our non-Black anthropology colleagues, especially our White colleagues who tend to reproduce the toxic effects of whiteness in anthropology departments, think tanks, research groups, and other spaces where anthropology is practiced across the nation, to move beyond the soul searching, despondency, and white guilt that this moment (and similar other moments) has engendered. Instead, we want members of the discipline to start at “home,” to accept the ways that anthropology has been and continues to be implicated in the project of white supremacy (both in its implicit and explicit manifestations) and to lay out a clear path for moving forward. We want members of the discipline of anthropology to see the ways that white supremacy is manifest in their curricula, syllabi, graduate student recruitment and mentoring, hiring, and promotion practices. We want them to see and correct their refusal or inability to teach race, racism, the pathology of whiteness, and the banality of white supremacy; their marginalization of Black scholars and their scholarship. We also challenge them to evaluate their commitment to being, paraphrasing the words of Black anthropologist, William S. Willis, “a discipline of the subjugated races.” This call to recognition and action is only the first step in the discipline’s long journey towards decolonization. 

As Black anthropologists, we have consistently demonstrated that there is much more to Black life than the need for affirmation from the very people abiding in systems that oppress us. Our global Black communities have always worked to destroy those systems. This moment is no different. We fully support the protests of rage and affirmation that have exploded throughout the country and throughout the world. And we condemn the current violent police repression at city, state, and national levels, including the call by the President of the United States and U.S. Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) to deploy U.S. military troops to disband the protest movements that have spread around the country. Not only are militaries ill-prepared and untrained for peacekeeping in civilian contexts, these irresponsible and inflammatory calls also court the deeper involvement of pro-Trump militias, many of whom are heavily armed, subscribe to white nationalist ideologies, and may react to what they perceive as an official call to violence in support of their leader. The use of the military will only further escalate violence, lead to loss of innocent life, violate core civil and human rights, and continue to polarize our citizenry and undermine democracy. 

We demand a justice system that begins with the premise that policing is and always has been a form of white supremacy. We demand that local, city, and state governments engage in meaningful dialogue, which involves humbly listening to the protesters and taking their demands seriously. 

We also encourage all anthropologists to donate to bail funds to free protesters, to continue to circulate information rooted in decolonized ethical research, to support movements for reparations for Black folks globally, and the ABA encourages Black people to protect their health (emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual) as we continue in this struggle.

ABA at the AAA Annual Meeting in San Francisco 2012

You can download a PDF with all this info listed below from this link: ABA Sessions for AAA 2012

3-0315 Imagining Anthropology without Borders

Thursday, November 15, 2012: 10:15 AM-12:00 PM

The theme, Borders and Crossings, challenges us to consider the ways in which anthropology is influenced and reshaped as borders are crossed. This roundtable will imagine anthropology without borders. Within such a context, we will consider the implications of the varied crossing with other disciplines and the consequences for not setting boundaries within the discipline. In order to accomplish this, we will address the following questions: Does a borderless discipline limit anthropology’s ability to contribute to a better understood and more just world? For instance, has the AAA lost its center? Does the growing number of sub-sections render the AAA an increasingly diluted and fragmented organization—especially as concerns major cultural and social issues? Have anthropologists ceased raising the big and fundamental questions because of the increasing specialization within the field? When and where do the varied anthropologies and anthropologists intersect and truly speak to one another? Or, perhaps anthropology is not doing enough to protect its borders. Should anthropology be more concerned about how other disciplines borrow our theories and methodologies? Should we be more insistent that those disciplines acknowledge their anthropological heritage? Finally, are we taking the best advantage of the places where borders are crossed? Specifically, should we be more creative and flexible about existing, new and possible borders to cross in order to encourage racial and ethnic diversity within anthropology?

Organizers:
Andrea Carol Abrams (Centre College)

Chairs:
Johnnetta Betsch Cole (National Museum of African Art)

Roundtable Presenters:
Brackette F Williams (University of Arizona), Yolanda T Moses (University of California Riverside), Robert Paynter (University of Massachusetts ), Gwendolyn Mikell (Georgetown University) and Kamela S Heyward-Rotimi (University of Massachusetts)

Crossing Borders: The On-going Work and Legacy of Johnnetta Betsch Cole

Thursday, November 15, 2012: 1:45 PM–5:30 PM

1:45 PM
Introduction Faye Harrison
2:00 PM
“Nothing Is Too Good for the People” Michael L Blakey (College of William and Mary)
2:15 PM
A Tribute to Sister President: HBCUs and Their Anthropological Legacies Marla Frederick (Harvard University)
2:30 PM
We Are All Sisters: Building a Language for Theorizing Black Non-Feminist/Anti-Feminist Anthropology Riche Daniel Barnes (Smith College)
2:45 PM
Women of Color and Might:  A Consideration of Anthropology, Art, Race, Gender and Border Crossing Andrea Carol Abrams (Centre College)
3:00 PM
The Poetics and Politics of Reclaiming: Indigenous Peoples & Anthropology Robin RR Gray (University of Massachusetts, Amherst)
3:15 PM
Discussant Johnnetta Betsch Cole (National Museum of African Art)
4:00 PM
Introduction A. Lynn Bolles
4:15 PM
Connecting Through Art: Johnnetta Cole’s Encore Career Mary Catherine Bateson (Professor Emerita, George Mason University)
4:30 PM
The Curatorial Life Corinne A Kratz (Emory Univ)
4:45 PM
Educational Issues: The Anglophone Caribbean and the US Arthur K Spears (City University of New York – Graduate Center)
5:00 PM
Mentoring As Legacy: The Influence of Johnnetta Betsch Cole On Self and Anthropology Irma McClaurin (McClaurin Solutions)
This session would be of particular interest to:
Those involved in mentoring activities, Students, Practicing and Applied Anthropologists
Organizers:
Riche Daniel Barnes (Smith College)
Chairs:
Faye V Harrison (University of Florida) and A Lynn Bolles PhD (University Of Maryland College Park)
Discussants:
Johnnetta Betsch Cole (National Museum of African Art)

4-0090 The Politics of Party Music: Bay Area Beats, Rhymes and Dance

Friday, November 16, 2012: 8:00 AM–9:45 AM

8:00 AM
Speaking Back and Liberating Minds: Spoken Word Among Bay Area Youth of Color Ashley D. Aaron (San Francisco State University)
8:15 AM
“So After All My Logic and My Theory”: Youth Participatory Action Research Through Hiphop Christopher Roberts (San Francisco State University and San Francisco State University)
8:30 AM
The Funk Behind Street Dance Alan Mar David (San Francisco State University)
8:45 AM
“Sound of Da Police”: Bay Area Hiphop Politics, Policy and Police
9:00 AM
Discussion
9:15 AM
Discussion
9:30 AM
Discussion
This session would be of particular interest to:
Students, Teachers of Anthropology in Community Colleges, Practicing and Applied Anthropologists
Organizers:
Dawn-Elissa Fischer (San Francisco State University)
Chairs:
Dawn-Elissa Fischer (San Francisco State University)

4-0220 Haitian Protestantism Across National Borders

Friday, November 16, 2012: 8:00 AM-11:45 AM

8:00 AM
The Army of Heaven: Strength and Ambiguity In Haitian Pentecostalism Frederick J Conway (San Diego State University)
8:15 AM
Notes Toward a Discussion of Protestantism, Creolization, and Self In 19th-Century Haiti Landon Yarrington (The University of Arizona)
8:30 AM
Salomon Sevère Joseph (1891-1973) and the Mission From God: The Founder and Internationalization of Indigenous Haitian Christianity Terry Rey (Temple University)
8:45 AM
Geographies of Faith In the Popular Neighborhoods of Port-Au-Prince: Protestant, Catholic, and Vodouist Coexistance, Solidarity, and Conflict Lynn Selby (The University of Texas at Austin)
9:00 AM
“If Any Man Be In Christ, He Is a New Creature”: Evangelicalism Among Haitian Agricultural Workers In the Dominican Republic David S Simmons (The University of South Carolina)
9:15 AM
Haiti’s Pact with the Devil: Bwa Kayiman, Haitian Protestant Views of Vodou, and the Future of Post-Earthquake Haiti Bertin M Louis Jr (The University of Tennessee)
9:30 AM
Shifting Boundaries of the Land of God and Shrines to the Anti-Christ Tekla Nicholas (Florida International University)
9:45 AM
Break
10:00 AM
Migrant Theology: Haitian Pastors and the Church of the Nazarene In Miami, FL Jemima Pierre (Vanderbilt University)
10:15 AM
Protestants Sans Frontieres: Humanitarian Thinking within the Haitian Protestant Diaspora Leonard J Lowe (The University of North Carolina)
10:30 AM
Discussant Karen E Richman (University of Notre Dame)
10:45 AM
Discussant Leslie Gerald Desmangles (Trinity College)
11:00 AM
Discussion
11:15 AM
Discussion
11:30 AM
Discussion
This session would be of particular interest to:
Teachers of Anthropology in Community Colleges, Students
Organizers:
Bertin M Louis Jr (The University of Tennessee)
Chairs:
Bertin M Louis Jr (The University of Tennessee)
Discussants:
Leslie Gerald Desmangles (Trinity College) and Karen E Richman (University of Notre Dame)

4-0380 Mapping Diasporic Engagements/Mapping Blackness(es)

Friday, November 16, 2012: 10:15 AM-12:00 PM

10:15 AM
Geo-Corporeal Acrobats: Interrogating Nutritional Praxis, Theology, and the African Diaspora Among Hebrew Israelites Diana A. Burnett (University of Pennsylvania)
10:30 AM
Fighting Monkeys and Situating Selves: Mapping Shiny New Blacknesses Via Dirty Old Logics In Contemporary Black Diaspora Krystal A Smalls (University of Pennsylvania Museum)
10:45 AM
We All Niggas: Blackness As Analog In Gentrifying San Francisco Savannah Shange (University of Pennsylvania)
11:00 AM
Diasporic Imagery and Cultural Practice Brittany L Webb (Temple University)
11:15 AM
Discussant Bayo Holsey (Duke University)
11:30 AM
Discussion
11:45 AM
Discussion
This session would be of particular interest to:
Students, Practicing and Applied Anthropologists
Organizers:
Brittany L Webb (Temple University) and Savannah Shange (University of Pennsylvania)
Chairs:
Brittany L Webb (Temple University)
Discussants:
Bayo Holsey (Duke University)

4-0435 Association of Black Anthropologists Board Meeting

Friday, November 16, 2012: 12:00 PM-2:00 PM
Seacliff (Hilton San Francisco)

This meeting is for the executive board of ABA

Organizer:
Raymond G Codrington (The Aspen Institute)

4-0580 Transforming Anthropology Board Meeting

Friday, November 16, 2012: 12:15 PM-1:30 PM
Bay View (Hotel Nikko)

Editorial Board Meeting for Transforming Anthropology to discuss progress/issues of Transforming Anthropology

Organizer:
Dana-Ain Davis (Queens College, CUNY)

4-1065 Association of Black Anthropologists Awards Ceremony Reception I

Friday, November 16, 2012: 6:15 PM-7:30 PM
Yosemite A (Hilton San Francisco)

Awards will be presented at the ceremony and a reception will follow.

This session would be of particular interest to:
Those involved in mentoring activities, Students, Teachers of Anthropology in Community Colleges, Practicing and Applied Anthropologists
Organizers:
Kimberly E Simmons (University of South Carolina), Raymond G Codrington (The Aspen Institute), Aimee M Cox (Fordham University) and Melanie E L Bush (Adelphi University)
Chairs:
Kimberly E Simmons (University of South Carolina) and Raymond G Codrington (The Aspen Institute)

4-1165 Association of Black Anthropologists Awards Ceremony Reception II

Friday, November 16, 2012: 7:30 PM-9:00 PM
Yosemite A (Hilton San Francisco)

The reception will immediately follow the ABA Awards Ceremony.

This session would be of particular interest to:
Those involved in mentoring activities, Students, Teachers of Anthropology in Community Colleges, Practicing and Applied Anthropologists
Organizers:
Kimberly E Simmons (University of South Carolina), Raymond G Codrington (The Aspen Institute), Aimee M Cox (Fordham University) and Melanie E L Bush (Adelphi University)
Chairs:
Kimberly E Simmons (University of South Carolina) and Raymond G Codrington (The Aspen Institute)

AAA Sections Joint Reception

Friday, November 16, 2012: 8:00 PM-10:00 PM
Continental 4 (Hilton San Francisco)

Sponsored by: Association for Feminist Anthropology

Joint reception of Association for Feminist Anthropology, Association for Queer Anthropology, Association of Black Anthropologists, Association of Latina and Latino Anthropologists, Society for Latin American and Caribbean Anthropology, Society for the Anthropology of North America, Society for the Anthropology of Work

This session would be of particular interest to:
Students
Organizer:
Jane Henrici PhD (Institute for Women’s Policy Research)

5-0360 Punishment and the State: Imprisonment, Transgressions, Scapegoats and the Contributions of Anthropology

Saturday, November 17, 2012: 10:15 AM-12:00 PM

In 2003, in her seminal book on prison abolition, Angela Davis wrote, “The prison has become a key ingredient of our common sense. It is there, all around us. We do not question whether it should exist. It has become so much a part of our lives that it requires a great feat of the imagination to envision life beyond the prison” (Davis, Are Prisons Obsolete? 2003:18-19). More recently, Michelle Alexander concretized the explicitly racialized character of mass incarceration in the United States with a variety of statistics, including that “there are more African Americans under correctional control today – in prison or jail, on probation or parole – than were enslaved in 1850, a decade before the Civil War began” (Alexander, Huff Post Online, posted February 8, 2010). It is at the juncture of these challenging statements — the hegemonic “common-sense-ness” of the carceral state, and the hyper-racial nature of state-meted punishment — that this roundtable discussion begins. The scholars participating in this conversation offer a variety of empirical standpoints, but share a research focus on the U.S. — a nation-state that incarcerates more people than any other country in the world. It is with this deep empirical, experiential and theoretical engagement with state-meted punishment and imprisonment that we hope to develop an anthropologically-informed theoretical framework for studying (and writing about) the peculiar contours of punishment in context of the state. Such a framework, we contend, holds value for research far beyond these particular state boundaries. While the outrageous statistics on the American carceral state and powerful writing on prison reform inspire our work, the participants in this session feel that anthropology’s sustained attention to “the common sense” helps to reveal additional forms of state-meted punishment — and it also contributes a unique and often overlooked set of tools for advancing scholarship and activism on punishment and imprisonment. We note the seminal work of anthropologists already writing about prisons and punishment — Ruth Wilson Gilmore, Lorna Rhodes, Loïc Wacquant, and Tony Whitehead, to name some — and honor their contributions by calling for a recognized (and recognizable) disciplinary space for scholarship on this topic. For example, we would l