Department of Anthropology's Statement of Solidarity

June 25, 2020


The Department of Anthropology at Princeton stands in solidarity with the local and transnational movements against systemic racism, which have been illuminated through the issue of police violence against Black people in the United States.

The recent killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, Ahmaud Arbery, Eric Logan, and countless others have sparked outrage across the United States. At the same time that our nation grapples with the long history of police violence, officers confront protesters in American cities who are making forceful arguments for police departments to be defunded. Other frustrated citizens are tying chains to statues, toppling the monuments of men who benefited from the slave trade. The current turmoil in our society demands careful and deliberate introspection about the ways individuals, departments, and institutions may be complicit in reproducing injustice. As a department, we will continue to practice the anthropological technique of self-reflexivity in relation to our current times. We will also enact the change we wish to see.

We will continue to amplify the concerns of the most marginal and socially abandoned in our society. In this moment, especially, we recommit ourselves to listening to and learning from Black communities. We trust that this reaffirmation to our core values as a department may foster healing, mutual aid, personal and intellectual growth and well-being. And finally, we hope that not only the scholarship that we cultivate and produce, but also our everyday actions, can be part of a larger movement that helps forge an alliance to unite people around human dignity.

Below are some resources that might help us better understand this moment:

Association for Black Anthropologist Statement

American Ethnological Society’s Statement in Support of Black Lives Matter Globally (June 7, 2020).

The Wenner-Gren Blog:
Watch Now: Anti-Blackness: Readings on Violence, Resistance, and Repair

THE TORTURE LETTERS, New York Times’ Opinion Documentary Series