Statement and Resources from The Department of Anthropology

June 3, 2020

Statement and Resources from The Department of Anthropology

black box to symbolize social media blackout


The Department of Anthropology is deeply saddened by the circumstances surrounding the death of George Floyd and the continued systemic violence inflicted upon people of color. Through anthropology, we understand that all humans are part of the same species, and racial categories have no biological basis. Unfortunately, the social construction of race, as we see in current events, has real life or death outcomes. We encourage all people, as humans, to challenge overt and implicit biases in themselves and in their government. Black Lives Matter.

If you are looking for more resources or readings to educate or challenge yourself, we have provided some suggestions below. Note that this list is not comprehensive, and should be used as a starting point for further research.


Suggested readings and resources:

Talking About Race by the Smithsonian (sections for educators, parents/caregivers, and people committed to equity).  

What Race Is, What it is Not, a talk by anthropologist Agustin Fuentes  

Reading Lists:

Institutionalized Racism: A Syllabus by JStor

Reading Towards Abolition: A Reading List on Policing, Rebellion, and the Criminilization of Blackness a reading list by The Abuseable Past

31 Children's Books to Support Conversations on Race, Racism, and Resistance 

Selected Books:

(note: to support small businesses in the BIPOC community, all links in this section direct to different Black-owned bookstores. Books and links are in no particular order)

Killing the Black Body by Dorothy Roberts

How to be Antiracist by Ibriam Kendi

Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America by Ibram Kendi

The Condemnation of Blackness: Race, Crime, and the Making of Modern Urban America by Khalil Gibran Muhammad

The History of White People by Nell Irvin Painter

Black Skin, White Masks by Franz Fanon

 Wretched of the Earth by Franz Fanon

Killing rage: Ending Racism by Bell Hooks (plus more by this author)

The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin (plus more by this author)

From BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation, by Keeanga-Yahmatta Taylor

From Slave Cabins to the White House: Homemade Citizenship in African American Culture, by Koritha Mitchell

Crook County: Racism & Injustice in America’s Largest Criminal Court, by Nicole Gonzalez van Cleve

The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, by Michelle Alexander

White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism, by Robin Diangelo

White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide, by Carol Anderson

How To Be Less Stupid About Race: On Racism, White Supremacy, and the Racial Divide, by Crystal Fleming


Anthropology resources:

Anthropology and the Racial Politics of Culture by Lee Baker

From Savage to Negro: Anthropology and the Construction of Race, 1896–1954 by Lee Baker

Outsider Within: Reworking Anthropology in the Global Age by Faye Harrison

Resisting Racism & Xenophobia: Global Perspectives on Race, Gender & Human Rights edited by Faye Harrison

African American Pioneers in Anthropology edited by Ira E. Harrison and Faye Harrison

Decolonizing Anthropology: Moving Further toward an Anthropology for Liberation edited by Faye Harrison

An Alter(ed)native Perspective on Historical Bioarchaeology by Rachel Watkins (article, Historical Archaeology)

Biohistorical Narratives of Racial Difference in the American Negro: Notes toward a Nuanced History of American Physical Anthropology by Rachel Watkins (article Current Anthropology)