Message to the American Culture Studies community

To the AMCS community:

Black Lives Matter.

We in American Culture Studies stand in solidarity with those who are protesting for racial justice. We are committed to being a safe place for students to express radical ideas, explore difficult subjects, raise and support BIPOC voices and experiences, decolonize our classrooms and our understanding of history, and help make real progress.

Many of you, like us, are devastated at much of what is occurring right now, in the middle of a pandemic, even as we are heartened and uplifted by the masses of people coming together to speak out against racism and police brutality.

AMCS is a place where we come to listen and learn, and where we can offer resources for engagement both in the classroom and in the community more broadly. There are innumerable things to read and watch and do that can help open our eyes and the eyes of those around us. Below we have compiled a list of a few good books as starting points.

Let us all recommit to the crucial work of listening and learning and speaking to our families and communities about justice and injustice in American history and culture, and what we can do about it now.

We affirm, as loudly and proudly as we can, that Black Lives Matter.
The AMCS Team

A Few Opening Resources:

Local St. Louis bookstore EyeSeeMe has a great list and when you buy from them you’re supporting Black-owned business: EyeSeeMe.com AntiRacist Collection

Richard Rothstein, The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America
Jemar Tisby, The Color of Compromise
Jesmyn Ward,  The Fire This Time: A New Generation Speaks about Race 
Douglas Flowe, Uncontrollable Blackness: African American Men and Criminality in Jim Crow New York (available for pre-order, pub date 6/22/20)
James Baldwin, The Fire Next Time
Carol Anderson, White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide
Barbara Ransby, Making All Black Lives Matter: Reimagining Freedom in the 21st Century

— 

Abram C. Van Engen

Associate Professor of English
Director of Graduate Studies, English and American Culture Studies
Interim Director of American Culture Studies