Today is filled with sadness and heartbreak for the family and friends of George Floyd, the City of Houston, and communities around the world.
We join the Society of Southwest Archivists and the Society of American Archivists in “condemning the continued racist acts of violence committed against members of our Black communities across the country.” We acknowledge the “systemic racism and white supremacy that has been a part of United States government since its founding, and as archivists, we know the historical evidence bears witness to the legacy of oppression, violence, and death that structural racism has imposed on Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Asian, and other communities of color. When it comes to perpetuating institutional racism and white supremacist culture, archives are no exception.”(1, 2)
We understand “no one owes their trauma to archivists,”(3) and we urge ethical documentation in times of crisis.(4, 5)
We support Houstonians’ right to peacefully protest and demand policy reform, justice, and equal treatment under the law; and we believe Black Lives Matter.
Please consider attending SAA Community Reflection on Black Lives and Archives this Friday, June 12 at 2:00 pm CST. Documenting the Now is looking for archivists and other memory workers who are willing to share their time, resources, and expertise to help activists document police violence. You may volunteer here.
We invite you to share any words of solace and healing by replying individually to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will compile them to send a card to the family of George Floyd.
Archivists of the Houston Area Board
1-SOCIETY OF SOUTHWEST ARCHIVISTS STATEMENT CONDEMNING RACIAL VIOLENCE
2- SAA Council Statement on Black Lives and Archives
3-No one owes their trauma to archivists, or, the commodification of contemporaneous collecting
4-Documenting in Times of Crisis: A Resource Kit
5-The Blackivists’ Five Tips for Organizers, Protestors, and Anyone Documenting Movements