Once again, America’s systemic violence against black bodies has reared its ugly head. In the past week, we witnessed another act of police brutality against a black man - Jacob Blake. Jacob Blake, a 29 year old African-American man was shot 7 times in the back and in the presence of his three sons, - after an alleged altercation with the police. At the time of this statement, Blake is reportedly in hospital, left paralyzed by the incident. We extend our sincerest condolences to the friends and family of Jacob Blake as well as all those who have been incarcerated, injured, and killed in protesting these injustices.
The African Studies Association of Africa unequivocally condemns in no uncertain terms the historical and contemporary use of brutal force against black bodies in America. As an association, we are strongly committed to upholding the sanctity and dignity of life, particularly of black people on the African continent, the African Diaspora, and African people globally. We are united by a brutal common experience of relentless structural violence and racism. We therefore call on all ASAA members, partner organizations, and friends to condemn personally and within institutional capacities the killings of black bodies in America.
We further condemn the violent killings of two individuals during the Kenosha protests by Kyle Rittenhouse - a 17-year old gun-wielding man. This, in many ways is a microcosm of the disregard for human life that permeates the American institutional psyche.
We are outraged and decry President’s Trump’s calls to send in the national guard into cities which are protesting racial injustices that have affected their communities for years.
We co-sign the statement issued by the President of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and the call for the authorities in the United States of America to intensify their efforts to ensure the total elimination of all forms of discrimination, especially those based on race or ethnic origin.
We renew our call for the arrest and prosecution of the police officers who killed Breonna Taylor.
We remain committed to participating in the struggle for justice for people of African descent who experience injustice anywhere.
We believe, just like Martin Luther King Jr. that although “the arc of the moral universe is long [it will eventually] bend towards justice” and therefore we will never stop advocating, organizing, and championing equality for black peoples around the world.
The ASAA remains actively seized on the matter.