The Association for the Study of the Worldwide African Diaspora stands with the thousands of people outraged over the refusal of the Ferguson grand jury to send the case of the murder of Michael Brown by police officer Darren Wilson to trial. We stand also with the families and communities of other black youth around the world facing similar targeting and violence at the hands of police, such as the React or Be Killed movement (FB group “Reaja ou Sera Morto”) in Bahia, Brazil seeking justice for Davi Alves and other black men murdered or disappeared in police custody. Impunity for violence against black people by law enforcement underscores the pervasive disregard for black life that threatens African descendants not only on city streets, but also in courts, in doctors’ offices, in government policy and all other aspects of life in which we depend on the judgments of fellow citizens raised in countries steeped in the legacy of racism, slavery and colonialism. Our work as scholars seeks to reveal the interconnectedness of these struggles, and illuminate new avenues for challenging the continued threats to the peoples of the African Diaspora as we move into changing contexts in the 21st century. The academy is more than a witness to struggle; we see it as a part of that struggle, and move forward in solidarity in dismantling the institutional supports of racism and discrimination.
ASWAD invites our members to contribute to a collection of religious responses to state violence in Africa and the African Diaspora coordinated by our partners at the Journal of Africana Religions:
Black Lives Matter? La Violencia del Estado/la Violence Étatique/State Violence – Religious Responses