Black Lives Matter
Our statement on why silence is not an option
The killing, brutalization, and marginalization of Black and African American people in the United States has gone unchecked for far too long. We strongly condemn the senseless and unjust persecution and killings of countless Black people. This has to stop. We stand in solidarity with the protests and calls for justice and systemic change.
As an organization, Knology states unequivocally that Black Lives Matter.
We call out white supremacy and anti-Blackness in all their forms and recognize that they harm our society at every level: within governments, companies, social groups, families, and individuals. This culture and belief system have a toxic effect on Black lives, and also on the lives of communities of color as a whole. It will take all of us – especially those of us with white privilege – to work hard for justice. This will require checking our own prejudices, calling out racism and racist acts when we encounter them, and reflecting on how we might be personally perpetuating inequity.
To be part of this change, we need to rethink our personal practices and work lives. The social sciences have an especially long history of marginalizing and mistreating Black people and suppressing their scholarly contributions – particularly those of Black women. As a social science research organization, we pledge to reexamine our assumptions and approaches as we move forward. We commit to consistently address this issue in our hiring, research design, partnerships, and internal policies. And we resolve to support and collaborate with scientists already working on these issues.
We want to recognize and lift up the good work that social science scholars have done on issues of systemic racism, solutions to racial injustice, and more. The list below shines a spotlight on the work of Black and African American social scientists who are studying the issues that matter and offering solutions that bring about meaningful and lasting change. We also point to resources shared by other organizations and scholars that can support people who want to understand and dismantle systemic racism, and work together to build a truly just world. We will be adding more to this list over time on this page.
Photo by Hybrid on Unsplash (@ArtByHybrid)
Below is a small selection of social science resources focused on anti-Blackness, systemic racism, and solutions to these problems. Much of this work is by Black and African American scholars. We tried our best to organize these resources according to Knology’s research areas, though many fall into multiple categories.
Race Matters: America in Crisis is a special program put together by our partner PBS. The special will focus on police brutality, systemic racial disparities in education, the criminal justice system, the economy and health care, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
John Baugh. 2019. "The Significance of Linguistic Profiling." TEDx Emory. This lecture breaks down the ways in which we make judgments about race on the basis of voice.
Bergis Jules, Ed Summers, Dr. Vernon Mitchell Jr. published a white paper titled Ethical Considerations for Archiving Social Media Content Generated by Contemporary Social Movements: Challenges, Opportunities, and Recommendations. This paper is a product of the Documenting the Now project, an effort to collect social media content related to the protests surrounding Michael Brown's killing in Ferguson, Missouri in 2014.
Danielle K. Kilgo's "Riot or resistance? How media frames unrest in Minneapolis will shape public’s view of protest," is an article presenting analysis of hundreds of news stories about protest and comparing the coverage to the protest paradigm theory.
Safiya Umoja Noble's book, titled Algorithms of Oppression: How Search Engines Reinforce Racism, documents commercial search engines' racist and sexist algorithmic biases that harm Black women and other women of color. This research points to the ways that large companies are shaping how the public accesses information, engages with education, and more.
Sarah J. Jackson, Moya Bailey, and Brooke Foucault Welles' book titled #HashtagActivism explores how marginalized groups are using social media to make their voices heard and challenge prevailing narratives. The full book is available to read for free at the link above.
Media 2070: An Invitation to Dream Up Media Reparations is an essay about the historical and contemporary ways that white media institutions have promoted and perpetuated anti-Black hate and violence on their platforms. It is described as a living document, with recommendations to build a foundation for healing in media and related industries. The authors are: Joseph Torres, Alicia Bell, Collette Watson, Tauhid Chappell, Diamond Hardiman, and Christina Pierce.
America’s Black Holocaust Museum (ABHM) was founded to build public awareness of the harmful legacies of slavery in America and promotes racial repair, reconciliation, and healing. They offer many resources on topics related to the history of and solutions to anti-Blackness. ABHM is led by Knology Board member, Robert “Bert” Davidson.
Marit Dewhurst and Keonna Hendrick’s 2016 article “Dismantling Racism in Museum Education” define racist and oppressive practices found in museum education, and outline what museum educators and other professionals in the field can do to disrupt racist cultures at work in museums.
MASS Action has published ethics guidelines for the museum field.
The American Library Association published Reflection on Race and Racism, a collection of statements by leaders within the library field.
The Great Stories Club, a project of The American Library Association, offers a selection of Young Adult books about race. This list was created by librarians and literature scholars, and features materials like discussion guides and supplemental essays.
Litwin Books & Library Juice Press have put together a list of books on race and ethinicity focused on libraries and the field of Library and Information Science.
LaTesha Velez and Melissa Villa-Nichols Hendrick’s 2017 article “Mapping Race And Racism in U.S. Library History Literature, 1997-2015” maps research around race, ethnicity, and racism in literature from the time period. It explores the histories around race, racism, and people of color in libraries, and notes some of the gaps in the research such as studies focused on race or ethnicity in the histories of U.S. private libraries.
David James Hudson's 2017 article "On 'Diversity' as Anti-Racism in Library and Information Studies: A Critique" analyzes inclusion and (anti)racism practices in the discipline of library and information studies. Hudson describes barriers to the field's ability to address racism as a structural phenomenon, and calls for the field to prioritize race as a historical construct.
This 2017 article, entitled "Libraries on the Frontlines: Neutrality and Social Justice" assesses the need for libraries to engage with and support people of color as challenge systemic racism, engage in the political process, and exercise their right to free speech. The authors -- Amelia N. Gibson, Renate L. Chancellor, Nicole A. Cooke, Sarah Park Dahlen, Shari A. Lee, and Yasmeen Shorish -- assert that library "neutrality" is not possible and ultimately harms communities of color.
Psychology researcher Steven O. Roberts studies group-based boundaries and hierarchies, among both children and adults. Dr. Roberts's short video, What Makes a Racist?, summarizes research on seven factors that contribute to racism in the US and strategies to minimize them.
SPARK Society gives scientists of color the tools to become innovators in the cognitive sciences. They have been building a database of scientists of color, especially those who specialize in cognitive sciences.
The Southern Poverty Law Center’s project called Teaching Tolerance provides lesson plans and professional development resources based on social science research.
Scott Barry Kaufman explains research on why people prefer individuals in their “in-groups” as opposed to those outside of their groups -- which starts at an early age. The research that Kaufman describes has important implications for prejudice, bias, and exclusion.
Two articles from the field of leisure studies point out that long standing racism in understanding how people spend their leisure time have had profound, societal effects:
- Myron F. Floyd and Monika Stodolska’s 2019 article, “Scholarship on Race and Ethnicity: Assessing Contributions to Leisure Theory and Practice” analyzed the field of leisure studies and found that published research lacks recognition of structural and institutional racism.
- KangJae Jerry Lee, Jonathan Casper, and Myron Floyd’s 2020 article, “Racial and Ethnic Diversity and Inclusion Efforts of Public Park and Recreation Agencies” explains how racial and ethnic disparities in access and engagement in public parks and recreation is a serious social justice issue. They make specific recommendations for ways that public recreation agencies can promote inclusion.
Danielle N. Lee published "Diversity and inclusion activisms in animal behaviour and the ABS: a historical view from the U.S.A.," and article about how scientists from under-represented minority groups have contributed to the animal behavior field, as well as how that field was historically dominated by white men. Lee makes the case for how exclusion has shaped the scientific enterprise.
Dorceta Taylor published The State of Diversity in Environmental Organizations in 2014. This book is the most comprehensive study of the racial and gender diversity in the United States environmental sector across 191 non-profits, 74 government agencies, and 28 leading environmental grant making foundations. It documents a movement that is predominantly White and the unconscious biases that perpetuate heterogeneity, and provides recommendations to build more diverse leadership and create inclusive workplaces.
Dorceta Taylor's book, The Rise of the American Conservation Movement, comprehensively examines how race, class, and gender have influenced every aspect of the movement from the establishment of parks to outdoor recreation. It documents the conservation movement's competing motivations, conflicts, problematic practices, as well as its achievements.
Dorceta Taylor wrote an article about the status of the environmental and justice movement for the Sierra Club magazine in December 2020. Read this piece, "Dorceta E. Taylor on Environmental Justice," here.
Journalist Somini Sengupta wrote Read Up on the Links Between Racism and the Environment, a guide to articles, essays, and books about the connection between aspects of the environmental degradation and racism.
The following two pieces raise important points about structural racism and public health that can help us think differently about the profoundly unequal impact of COVID-19.
- Adia Benton, 2020, "Border Promiscuity, Illicit Intimacies, and Origin Stories: Or what Contagion’s Bookends Tell us About New Infectious Diseases and a Racialized Geography of Blame," Somatosphere. This essay traces the spread of COVID-19 to the unchecked mobility of white bodies, even as other racialized populations take the blame and bear the consequences.
- Adia Benton, 2014, "Race and the immuno-logics of Ebola response in West Africa," Somatosphere. This essay critiques the unquestioned hierarchies of race that underlie global humanitarianism.
H. Samy Alim & Geneva Smitherman. 2012. "Articulate While Black: Barack Obama, Language, and Race in the United States." This book makes use of Barack Obama's widespread visibility to analyze connections between language and race in the U.S.
In "Violence and Economic Activity: Evidence from African American Patents, 1870 to 1940," economist Lisa D. Cook studied the effects of ethnic and political violence on economic activity. Cook found that domestic terrorism accounts for more than 1,100 missing patents, indicating that violence affects invention and economic growth. Journalists interviewed Dr. Cook about this study and the challenges of publishing it, in an episode of NPR's Planet Money.
More Great Stuff
JSTOR provides a syllabus of open access readings about institutionalized racism. Free!
Campaign Zero has rigorously studied police violence, especially against Black people, Indigenous people, and People of Color. They also have a database of the names of victims, where possible. They suggest detailed solutions based on this research.
Below is a small sampling of the many Black academics and scholars who have published research, essays, and books focused on racism, social inequity, and related topics. Full details of their published work is available on their respective websites.
Cite Black Women is a movement to rethink the politics of knowledge, and acknowledge Black women’s scholarly work.
500 Women Scientists is a grassroots organization striving to make science open, inclusive, and accessible. They support a network of women scientists confronting threads of racism, misogyny, xenophobia, and anti-science rhetoric found in US politics and beyond.
The University of Minnesota Press is offering a collection of books focused on racial justice to read online for free through August 31, 2020.
The Children’s Health Fund is a non-profit organization that works to provide high quality healthcare to disadvantaged children in the United States. This article discusses the current moment from the perspective of Black and Brown children and highlights some of the unique challenges that they face including injustices as a result of structural racism.
Black in AI is a multi-institutional, international initiative that provices space for sharing ideas, fostering collaborations, and discussing initiatives aimed at increasing the presence of Black individuals in the field of artificial intelligence.