The Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies is acutely aware that our community is hurting right now, and that this pain is felt especially deeply by our Black, Afro-Latin American, Afro-Caribbean, Afro-Latinx, and Afro-Indigenous faculty, staff, and students. Our Center shares in the deep emotions our community is feeling and stands in solidarity and empathy with you.
We also understand that these feelings are not exclusive to those located in the United States, as across the Americas our shared histories of slavery, colonialism and racial discrimination have resulted in similar structures of systematized racism and its manifestation in state violence. Throughout the region, Afro-descendant, indigenous and immigrant populations are those most affected by the ongoing global pandemic, while in many areas, such as Brazil, police deaths of black youths continue to devastate families, communities, and the nation as a whole. Thus, as we lament the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25, we also lament that of 14-year old João Pedro Mattos in Rio de Janeiro on May 18, and of the tragically long list of all those who came before them.
LACS is committed to supporting the ongoing work of anti-racist struggles that seek to end this violence against Black bodies in our interconnected societies, and we acknowledge and respect the rights of those who participate in public protest. We know this is a time of uncertainty, confusion, discomfort, and sadness. We know too that we are not all equally affected by structural racism and thus our responses and reactions to injustice look different right now. What is certain is that we all share a responsibility to create positive change and to engage in a process of listening to, learning from, and amplifying Black voices. For those who are unsure where to begin to take action, we invite you to take time to reflect upon the poignant words of the U-M Chief Diversity Officer Dr. Rob Sellers in his essay I Am So Tired as well as engage with the following list of resources.
How to Be an Ally if You Are a Person with Privilege by Frances E. Kendall
So You Want to Talk About Race, Ijeoma Oluo
Stamped from the Beginning, Ibram X. Kendi
How To Be an Antiracist, Ibram X. Kendi
Blindspot: Hidden Biases of Good People, Mahzarin R. Banaji and Anthony Greenwald
Good White People: The Problem with Middle-Class White Anti-Racism, Shannon Sullivan
The Geometry of Being Black, Ogorchukwu
Between the World and Me, Ta-Nehisi Coates
White Fragility, Robin DeAngelo