“Surely, justice will overcome the architects of lies and their false witnesses.”
καὶ μέντοι καὶ δίκη καταλήψεται ψευδέων τέκτονας καὶ μάρτυρας.
Heraclitus, fr. 118
αἱ εἴκοσι ἡμέραι, “twenty days”
We have now seen 20 days in first local then international protests over the death of George Floyd, police violence, and in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. We are only at the beginning of our shared action and responsibility. (And not near the end of the protest: Breonna Taylor‘s killers have bot been arrested and Rayshard Brooks was killed mere days ago.)
Below are some resources and links I have found helpful and hope others will use to think about our place in this particular space and time and our obligations moving forward. Since this is a Greek and Roman literature blog with a focus on Classical Studies in general, a good deal of the material assembled is concerned with that.
As Classicists, we have a lot to think about, but our thoughts and actions need to be for the long term in support of what the protests achieve and to help advance and solidify their aims. One question as a starting point, how is a canon like a statue?
N.B. Please do let me know if you want anything else added to this list. I have assembled this mainly for those who don’t spend a lot of time on twitter, etc.
Resources for action and education
- A homepage for resources to engage in protest and support Black Lives Matter. See also the Movement for Black Lives homepage
- Mariame Kaba on Defunding the Police
- Collection of Resources for Anti-Racism compiled by Rebecca Futo Kennedy (see also her blogposts about the racism intrinsic to the concept of “western civilization“). See this Anti-racist reading list too and this slightly older one.
- Keeange-Yamahtta Taylor: “How Do We Change America?“
- If someone doubts police brutality: a list of videos.
- Education from Academics 4 Black Lives Video
- Racism in Publishing
- The SCS Statement is pretty good and the ACL Statement shows much improvement thanks in part to the activism of Dani Bostick and others like Ian Lockey. As a long time member, I would like to single out the CAMWS Statement for its weakness (a call for “robust, respectful dialogue” but no mention of black lives, police violence, white supremacy or the complicity of classical education).
- Multiculturalism, Race & Ethnicity in Classics Consortium (MRECC) Statement in Solidarity and Action Plan
- EOS (Africana Receptions of Greece and Rome) and their special session of EOS Reads. My colleague Cat Gillespie and I are bringing this to Brandeis.
- Asian American Caucus’ Statements of Solidarity and links for donations.
- A Student response to the Oxford Classics Statement (statement here)
- Classics and Social Justice Statement
- Brandeis’ Statements: followed by a community meeting and a two-day workship: President’s call for proposals and the superior statement by students in the Justice; and a presentation on America’s Racial Reckoning by Chad Williams, Anita Hill, Leah Wright Rigueur, and Daniel Kryder. My department has not issued an individual statement because we stand by our institutional response and believe that we need to listen and learn before making significant changes to our policies and our curricula. I say this as Chair of the Department and with deep respect for my colleagues at other institutions who have felt compelled to make statements of solidarity: statements are not enough from our field.
- Sportula and Sportula Europe. Just donate to them.
- Vanessa Stovall’s “A Tale of Two Creons: Black Tragedies, White Anxieties, and the Necessity of Abolition.”
- Pria Jackson’s “Fight or Die: How to Move From Statements to Actions.”
- The Our Voices: A Conference for Inclusive Classics Pedagogy actually happened in this calendar year
- A personal account of how racism and ableism in Classics can drive someone out: Stefani Echeverria-Fenn’s “On Classics, Madness, and Losing Everything”
- The Queer Classicist on Racism in Classics