#BlackLivesMatter: Anti-Black Racism, Police Violence, and Resistance

Demonstrators at a rally in Silver Spring, Maryland, January 2015. Photo by Stephen Melkisethian.

Gathered under the umbrella of #BlackLivesMatter, a movement has erupted in the United States and multiple locations across the globe, including the Dominican Republic and Brazil. These chants, demands, and acts of resistance draw attention to the disproportionate amounts of state-sanctioned violence Black communities experience, frequently at the hands of police. Additionally, organizers, mobilizers, and participants emphasize the ways in which the exploitation of Black labor, the objectification of Black bodies, and the subsequent trauma and death of these human beings continue to be central to political and economic power throughout the world. Using #BlackLivesMatter as an anchor, the contributors to this Hot Spots series offer insight into the specific roles that anti-Black racism and white supremacy have played in centuries of oppressive discourse and practices. This Hot Spots feature is framed around three sets of questions: First, how do we understand #BlackLivesMatter as an intersectional political and theoretical intervention, and how does this intervention help us to better grasp the connections between race, racism, and state-sanctioned violence? Second, in what ways is the history of racism and violence in the United States connected to the transnational and diasporic experience of anti-Black racism and violence? Finally, what are some solutions to these critical issues of Black life and death, and how can activists, researchers, and scholars, particularly those in anthropology, contribute to actions focused on this problem-solving? The editor is thankful to Joy James, Aimee Meredith Cox, Matt Richardson, Christen Smith, Dylan Kerrigan, Joao Vargas, Orisanmi Burton, Michelle Stewart, and Alisse Waterston for their thoughtful contributions to this series.

Posts in This Series

Introduction: #BlackLivesMatter

Moving Targets

The Choreography of Survival

Killed Outright or Left to Die: Black (Trans)Women and the Police State

Performance, Affect, and Anti-Black Violence: A Transnational Perspective on #BlackLivesMatter

Transnational Anti-Black Racism and State Violence in Trinidad

Black Lives Don’t Matter

Black Lives Matter: A Critique of Anthropology

Rethinking the Call: The Limits of Cameras and Training

Policing Poverty: An Analysis Revisited