Member News

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 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

Focus on Haiti

It has been four years since a 7.0 earthquake devastated parts of Haiti. At present, this disaster claimed over 200,000 lives and has left over 150,000. Additionally, Haitians continue to suffer from a cholera outbreak that has claimed thousands of lives.

Woman standing in front of ruins. Haitian woman carrying supplies amid the destruction from the January 2010 Haiti earthquake. (U.S. Geological Survey/photo by Anthony Crone.)

In 2014, the Association of Black Anthropologists (ABA) continues to focus on Haiti by standing in support and solidarity with Haiti, the first black republic in the world, by disseminating Haiti-related information and providing anthropological analysis of recent news from Haiti and issues affecting the Haitian diaspora.

To facilitate an informed dialogue about the past, present and future of Haiti, we ask that peers and colleagues continue to submit relevant Haiti-related information to the ABA focus on Haiti website to Bertin M. Louis, Jr. at: abahaiti@gmail.com. Please send:

  • Articles and Essays by anthropologists about Haiti and Haitian Earthquake Recovery-related topics,
  • Links of anthropologists in the media discussing Haiti and Haitian Earthquake Recovery-related topics,
  • Websites about Haiti, Haitian Culture and History, and
  • Annotated bibliographic information.
Michel-Rolph Trouillot (1949-2012)
American Anthropological Association: Remembering Michel-Rolph Trouillot
Remembering Trouillot (Colin Dayan)
Anthropology Report: Michel-Rolph Trouillot, Bibliography
Cholera and Earthquake Relief (courtesy of potomitan.net)
Partners in Health
Digital Library of the Caribbean’s Protecting Haitian Patrimony Initiative
Dwa Fanm
Fonkoze
FANM
Haiti Reborn
Lambifund
Madre
Recent Books about Haiti and Haitians
Mark Schuller. 2012. Killing with Kindness: Haiti, International Aid, and NGOs
Books about the Haiti Earthquake by Anthropologists
Haiti After The Earthquake by Paul Farmer
Tectonic Shifts: Haiti Since the Earthquake. Edited by Mark Schuller and Pablo Morales
Anthropologists Discussing Haiti in the Media: Recent Commentary (as of January 24, 2014)

Pooja Bhatia
Help for Haiti (Douze Janvyè [January 12])
Jacob Kushner
Four years after the Haiti earthquake, what have billions in U.S. aid bought?
Bertin M. Louis, Jr.
#ShamelesslyHaitian on Haiti’s Independence Day (Also available in French here)
Anthropologists Discussing Post-Earthquake Haiti in the Media (Alphabetical Order)
Greg Beckett
Moving Beyond Disaster to Build a Durable Future in Haiti
Is the United States Doing Enough for Haiti?
Elizabeth Chin
Anthropology Now Haiti Watch
Why Adopting Haitian Children is a Terrible Idea
Alex Dupuy
Foreign Help Actually Hurting Haiti
Paul Farmer
How to Stop Cholera in Haiti
Haitian Government Needs More Aid NECN.com
PBS News Hour
The New York Times
Jeffrey Kahn
Cut the Red Tape: Why Haitians Need Humanitarian Parole Now
Helping Haiti Help Itself
Relax the Caps for Haitian Visa Applicants
Jim Yong Kim
Dartmouth’s President, a Global Health Leader, Offers Perspectives on Helping Haiti Chronicle of Higher Education
Jonna Knappenberger
Cholera Cases and Questions in the North
Violence in Cap Haitien update
Milot’s Forgotten “Tent City”
Bertin M. Louis, Jr.
Studying Voodoo isn’t a Judgement USA Today article referencing essays.
Haiti’s Pact with the Devil? Some Haitians Believe This Too
The Hubert Smith Radio Show
WATE-6 News (Knoxville, TN)
Tennessee This Week (Knoxville, TN)
The Hubert Smith Radio Show/Haiti: One Year After the Earthquake
Elizabeth McAlister
Voodoo’s View of the Quake in Haiti
Devil’s Logic: Behind Pat Robertson’s Blame Game
Haiti’s Musical Traditions, Past and Present
Elizabeth McAlister on Hope and Tragedy
Voodoo Brings Solace to Haitians
Why Does Haiti Suffer So Much?
Sidney Mintz
Whitewashing Haiti’s History
Jemima Pierre
Bill Clinton Loves Haiti
The Dominican Republic Hates Black People
Don’t Blame Repbulicans for Obama’s Actions in Haiti
How to Help Haiti
Our Failure On Haiti
The Politics of Rebuilding Haiti CounterSpin interview
The Puppet, the Dictator, and the President: Haiti Today and Tomorrow
Karen Richman
Mass Graves May Have Lasting Spiritual Impact in Haiti
Run From the Earthquake, Fall Into The Abyss: A Léogane Paradox
Nina Glick Schiller and Georges Fouron
Killing Me Softly: Violence, Globalization, and the Apparent State
Bill Quigley and Amber Ramanauskas
Where the Relief Money Did and Did Not Go: Haiti After the Quake
Mark Schuller
“Chaos and Cholera: Haiti’s Message to the Tea Party (and the Rest of Us)”
Clearing the Rubble, Including the Old Plan for Haiti
Did you Drink Soup? Strains on Solidarity in Haiti
Falling Through the Cracks, Or Unstable Foundations?
Fault Lines: Haiti’s Earthquake and Reconstruction, Through the Eyes of Many
Haiti One Year Later
Haiti’s Resurrection: Promoting Human Rights
Haiti’s Second Goudougoudou: The Global Food Crisis
Haiti’s Unnatural Disasters
Interview with Mark Schuller on Democracy Now!
Passing The Riot Test
Rained Out? Opportunities in Haiti Washing Away
Sowing Seeds of Hope or Seeds of Dependence?
Starfish and Seawalls: Responding to Haiti’s Earthquake, Now and Long-Term Commondreams.org
Tectonic Shifts? The upcoming donors conference for Haiti
“Too Soon for the Carnival des Fleurs: Sweeping Haiti’s Poor Back under the Rug”
Uncertain Ground
Unstable Foundations: Human Rights of Haiti’s 1.5 Million IDPs
What Wyclef Lays Bare for Monday’s Foreign Policy Debate
Gina Athena Ulysse
Amid Rubble And Ruin, Our Duty To Haiti Remains National Public Radio
Defending Vodou in Haiti
Goudougoudou: Earthquake Memories from Haiti
Haiti’s Earthquake’s Name and Some Women’s Trauma
Haiti’s Electionaval
Haiti’s Fouled-up Elections
Haiti’s Future: A Requiem for the Dying
Haiti’s Future: Repeating Disasters
Haiti’s Solidarity with Angels
Haitian Feminist Yolette Jeanty Honored With Other Global Women’s Activists
The Haiti Story You Won’t Read
Haiti’s Vodou Religion Ulysse and Sibylle Fischer discuss how Vodou (please note spelling) has been demonized to become “voodoo”
Haiti Will Never Be The Same Ulysse discusses Haiti’s past and why it must set a different course in the future
The Legacy of Haitian FeministPaulette Poujol-Oriol
New Narratives for Haiti MP3; an interview on Feminist Magazine on KPFK
Rape a Part of Daily Life for Haitian Women in Relief Camps
The Way We See Haiti Here on Earth
Why Context Matters: Journalists and Haiti
Why I am Marching for “Ayiti Cherie” (Beloved Haiti)
Why Representations of Haiti Matter Now more than Ever
Landon Yarrington
More Updates from Cap Haitien
Updates from Cap Haitien
Violence in Cap Haitien
A Day at the Beach
Port-au-Prince or Port-au-President?
Can Wyclef Tap Haiti’s Youth Movement?
How Haiti Can Reclaim Sovereignty
The Logic of Triage in Humanitarian Action
Haiti Facts and History
Haiti Lives: Contributions of Haitian Anthropologist Antenor Firmin by Deneia Fairweather
C.I.A. World Factbook – Haiti
Bob Corbett’s Haitian History Page
Haiti and the U.S.A.: Neighbors Linked by History and Community. The Trinity College Haiti Program.
Annotated Haiti Bibliography
Farmer, Paul. 1994.The Uses of Haiti. Monroe: Common Courage Press.
The Uses of Haiti uses the quest for human dignity of the majority of Haitian society (the Haitian poor) as a critical lens to analyze Haitian history. By reviewing the actions of nations such as France and the United States and particular actors in Haitian history such as Toussaint Louverture, the Haitian upper class, the Haitian military, François and Jean-Claude Duvalier, Farmer’s goal is to reveal the structural issues (structural adjustment programs, an indemnity the Boyer administration paid France in the 19th century so that France would not invade Haiti and the Duvalier kleptocracy) to provide answers as to why poverty and underdevelopment are persistent in Haiti. (Visit Amazon’s Paul Farmer page.)
Glick Schiller, Nina and Georges Fouron. 2001. Georges Woke Up Laughing: Long-Distance Nationalism and the Search for Home. Durham: Duke University Press.
Georges Woke Up Laughing is a superb ethnography which uses research in the United States and research in Haiti to demonstrate the continued ties between Haitians living in the United States and Haiti. Using the experiences and family history of Dr. Georges Fouron, a professor of education and Africana Studies at Stony Brook University who is of Haitian descent, the text takes readers from the United States to Haiti to analyze the current crisis in Haiti, gender, nationalism and the relationship between later generations of Haitian Americans and Haiti. (View more on Amazon.)
Pamphile, Leon. 2001. Haitians and African Americans: A Heritage of Tragedy and Hope. Gainesville: University of Florida Press.
Haitians and African Americansis an informative text which demonstrates the long historical relationship between Haitians and African Americans. This book deals with the shared heritage of slavery for both groups and how the paths of African Americans and Haitians have crossed repeatedly in their dual quest for freedom from human bondage and equality. For example, this book recognizes some of important contributions that Haitians made to American society by Haitians like the founding of Chicago by a Haitian named Jean Baptiste Point du Sable. In addition, the text notes the African American political support of Haiti and Haitians especially during the Haitian boat crisis of the late 20th century. ( ef="http://www.amazon.com/Haitians-African-Americans-Heritage-Tragedy/dp/0813026903/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1265053130&sr=1-1" target="_blank">View more on Amazon.)
Zéphir, Flore. 2004. The Haitian Americans. Westport: Greenwood Press.
The Haitian Americans is an excellent resource about the Haitian presence in the United States. The author provides a detailed history of Haiti, a history of Haitians in the United States, statistics about Haitian migration to the United States, information about established and growing Haitian communities across the United States and short biographies about prominent Haitian Americans who contribute to the fabric of American society. (View more on Amazon.)