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Africana Studies Statement on the Murder of George Floyd

June 3, 2020 12:56 PM

Dear Africana Studies Community,

It is with immense sorrow, outrage and frustration that we write to you to condemn the senseless murder of George Floyd while he was in the custody of Minneapolis police officers. We mourn the death of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Sean Reed, and many others, who were victims of lethal racial brutality perpetrated by police officers and white supremacists. We strongly condemn the injustice such unprovoked killings represent. We join you and millions across the country in demanding for justice to be imposed on those responsible for these tragic deaths; and for a renewed focus on more effective police and community interactions across the nation. As Africana Studies (AFST) faculty, we unequivocally, condemn all acts of violence against peaceful protesters and journalists by the police in cities across the country since the murder of Mr. Floyd.

 As we witness protests in cities across the country and in our own community following the tragic murder of George Floyd, we write to express our support of your concerns and efforts. Africana Studies came into existence out of moments like this and therefore has been in the forefront interrogating systems and institutions that produce such moments while advocating ways to mitigate the debilitating effects of systemic racism and racial disparities and injustices on our community and the society at large. We endorse the statements of support by the University of Maryland System, and by UMBC, which you have seen.

We are witnesses to the latest waves of violence against Black men and women amidst a historic struggle with the coronavirus pandemic that has disproportionately devastated Black communities across the country. These unprecedented circumstances have called us to engage with one another and assist our community and its members. As we meaningfully reflect together on these and so many other events, AFST faculty will continue to use our collective resources to expose, challenge, and address all forms of racial disparities, discrimination and injustices against Black people. We are available to listen to you. Feel free to consult with us on any issues that would help you deal with these challenging and difficult times. Stay safe.

Sincerely,

Maleda Belilgne, mbelilgn@umbc.edu

Gloria Chuku, chuku@umbc.edu

Tammy Henderson, xu61256@umbc.edu

Thomas Robinson, trobinso@umbc.edu