The Executive Board of the Society of North Carolina Archivists (SNCA) stands in support of our Black colleagues, friends, and communities. We believe Black Lives Matter. We condemn racism and police brutality.
We support the statements issued by the Society of American Archivists (SAA) https://www2.archivists.org/statements/saa-council-statement-on-black-lives-and-archives and the National Council on Public History https://ncph.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/NCPH-Statement-on-the-Killing-of-George-Floyd.pdf. We call on the North Carolina archival community to reaffirm and commit to dismantling white supremacy and structural racism in archives, and beyond. As a profession we often collect, preserve, and disseminate collections created by marginalized peoples, organizations, and communities. We must center oppressed standpoints through an ethic of care and privacy. As the Council of SAA stated, we urge our community to support, learn, and boost “Black-led archival documentation efforts and memory-keeping organizations as we continue our collective effort to repair the legacy of structural racism and acts of state-sanctioned violence.”
What can we do as archivists to help effect change? We need to stop thinking of our institutions as passive, neutral spaces that document history and examine how our institutions fail to advance equity and justice.* Please consider reading and sharing these resources with your colleagues:
- Archives for Black Lives: Archivists Responding to Black Lives Matter
- Anti-Racism Resources for all ages and Anti-Racism Resources and Dismantling White Supremacy
- Dean, Jackie. “Conscious Editing of Archival Description at UNC-Chapel Hill.” Journal of the Society of North Carolina Archivists Vol. 16 (2019), pp. 41-55.
- “Dismantling White Supremacy in Archives” content produced in Professor Michelle Caswell’s Archives, Records, and Memory class, Fall 2016, UCLA. Poster design by Gracen Brilmyer.
- Documenting the Now
- Hart, L. “Conscious Language for a Jim Crow Archive.” Carolina Digital Repository, 9 April 2020.
The Executive Board of the Society of North Carolina Archivists
June 3, 2020
*Paraphrased from “The University Libraries’ Role in Reckoning with Systemic Racism and Oppression: A message from Vice Provost for University Libraries and University Librarian Elaine L. Westbrooks.” (https://library.unc.edu/2020/06/the-university-libraries-role-in-reckoning-with-systemic-racism-and-oppression/)