In solidarity with Black students, staff, and faculty who have called on Duke University to recognize and address the culture of anti-Blackness on campus and around the world, the Program in International Comparative Studies issues the following statement:
We, the faculty of ICS, stand with protestors in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, as well as those around the United States and the world, who have risen up in response to the brutal police murder of George Floyd, calling for an end to anti-Black violence; the systematic brutality of the police, particularly towards Black men and women; the deeply embedded structures of white supremacy present in this country; and the valuation of property and profit over lives. In this crucial moment, where people have taken to the streets en masse to protest police violence despite the potential threat to their personal safety and health, we are witnessing the desperation of a people fighting for their right to live. Those protesting in cities across this country and around the globe are members of our families and communities; they are OUR students. Thus, this crisis demands our immediate attention and engagement as participants in the collective struggle for freedom, equality, and justice.
We recognize that Duke University was built on land stolen from the Indigenous Shakori and Catawba peoples. Black, Indigenous, and Latinx students are deeply underrepresented at Duke, amongst students and faculty. We also recognize that though Duke has a proud tradition of Black activism, it also has a history of Black exclusion that continues into the present day, on campus and in the surrounding neighborhoods throughout Durham. The ICS Program at Duke University stands in solidarity with its Black students, staff, and faculty, and commits itself to bearing witness, recording, documenting, and continually speaking out against these atrocities whenever and wherever they may arise.
ICS Faculty recommendations for further reading and viewing:
A historical investigation of the Minneapolis Police Department that takes “the idea of police-free communities out of the realm of fantasy and place[s] it firmly in the public agenda as a practical necessity.”
Documentaries and Lectures
Jason Osder, dir., Let the Fire Burn (made purely from archival footage, about the bombings of the MOVE complex in Philadelphia in the 1980s, a pivotal but now often forgotten episode of racist police violence in the 1980s)
James Baldwin, “A Report from Occupied Territory” (1966)
Robin D.G. Kelly, “Why We Won’t Wait,” Counterpunch (2014)
Elizabeth Hinton, “The Minneapolis Uprising in Context,” Boston Review (2020)
Claudia Rankine, “The Condition of Black Life is One of Mourning” from the NYT Magazine in 2015.
Books and Book Chapters
Jordan Camp and Christina Heatherton (eds), Policing the Planet: Why the Policing Crisis led to Black Lives Matter (2016)
Angela Davis et al. “We Have to Talk About Systemic Change.” In Freedom is a Constant Struggle: Ferguson, Palestine, and the Foundations of a Movement (2106)
Stuart Hall, Policing the Crisis: Mugging, the State, and Law and Order (1978)
Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation (2016)