Like so many political struggles, the current protests against ongoing anti-Black racism and police violence in the US, Canada and around the globe remind us of the ways in which our efforts to comprehend the politics of our time cannot be separated from such struggles. These protests clarify how our efforts – as scholars and teachers – must be attentive to political history – particularly the broad and deep history and ongoing effects of anti-Black racism and colonial racism in the modern and contemporary world.
We assert that the study of politics must be guided by certain basic principles. In particular, our devotion to freedom, human rights, and human dignity must be joined with a dedication to ensuring that Blacks Lives Matter. Our discipline works to analyze, among other things, power, legitimacy, law, violence, authority, inequality, freedom, nationhood, migrations, globalization, democracy, colonialism, and governance. We recognize that to understand adequately these phenomena demands cognizance of the long history in Turtle Island/North America and elsewhere in which Black lives have been demeaned, denied, brutalized, disrespected, and murdered; and our studies have too often ignored how Black activists and thinkers have advanced the goals of justice, freedom, democracy, and human dignity.
For further study
- James Baldwin, Nobody Knows My Name: More Notes of a Native Son (1961)
- James Baldwin, The Fire Next Time (1963)
- James Baldwin, “An Open Letter to My Sister, Miss Angela Davis,” The New York Review of Books, January 7, 1971. Read here.
- Charles M. Blow. “Allies, Don’t Fail Us Now,” The New York Times, June 7, 2020. Read here.
- Jamelle Bouie, “To Overturn Trump, We Need to Overturn White Supremacy,” The New York Times, June 12, 2020. Read here.
- Ta Nehisi Coates, Between the World and Me (Spiegel & Grau, 2015)
- Desmond Cole, The Skin We’re In: A Year of Black Resistance and Power (Penguin, 2020)
- Angela Davis, ed., They Come in the Morning … Voices of Resistance (Verso,  2016)
- Roxane Gay, “Remember, No One Is Coming to Save Us,” The New York Times May 30, 2010. Read here.
- Tiffanie Drayton, “I’m a Black American. I Had to get Out,” The New York Times, June 12, 2020. Read here.
- Adom Getachew, Worldmaking After Empire: The Rise and Fall of Self-Determination (Princeton, 2019)
- Michael George Hanchard, The Spectre of Race: How Discrimination Haunts Western Democracy (Princeton, 2019)
- Juliet Hooker, “Black Lives Matter and the Paradoxes of U.S. Black Politics: From Democratic Sacrifice to Democratic Repair,” Political Theory 44, no. 4 (2016), 448–469.
- Mariame Kaba, “Yes, We Mean Literally Abolish the Police,” The New York Times, June 12, 2020. Read here.
- Ibram X. Kendi, How to Be an Antiracist (Penguin, 2019)
- Eternity Martis, They Told Me This Would be Fun: Race, Campus Life and Growing Up (McLelland and Stewart, 2020)
- Robyn Maynard, Policing Back Lives: State Violence in Canada from Slavery to the Present (Fernwood, 2017)
- Claudia Rankine, Citizen: An American Lyric (Graywolf, 2014)
- Jasmine Roberts, “White Academia: Do Better: Higher education has a problem. It’s called White supremacy,” Medium, June 8, 2020. Read here
- Keeanga-Yamahtta Tayor, “How Do We Change America?,” The New Yorker, June 8, 2020. Read here
- Debra Thompson, “Opinion: My Black ancestors fled America for freedom. I left Canada to find a home. Now both countries must fight for a better world,” The Globe and Mail, June 7, 2020. Read here.
- kihana miraya ross, “Call It What It Is: Anti-Blackness: When black people are killed by the police, ‘racism’ isn’t the right word,” The New York Times, June 4, 2020. Read here.
- Jesmyn Ward, ed., The Fire This Time: A New Generation Speaks About Race (Scribner, 2016)
- Gary Younge, “What Black America Means to Europe,” The New York Review of Books, June 6, 2020. Read here
- Do the Right Thing, director Spike Lee (1989)
- Fruitvale Station, director Ryan Coogler (2013)
- I Am Not Your Negro, director Raoul Peck (2016)
- If Beale Street Could Talk, director Barry Jenkins (2018)
- Moonlight, director Barry Jenkins (2016)
- 13th, director Ava DuVernay (2016)