UNDAUNTED: US Black academics letter and signatories

NEWS: Leading Black Scholars, Writers, & Educators Throw Support Behind Bernie 2020
 

NOTE: For the article UNDAUNTED see https://chronicleworld.co.uk/2020/03/15/undaunted-us-bla…acks-and-america/

February 29, 2020
Contact: 
press@berniesanders.com 
BOSTON – More than 100 Black scholars, writers and educators on Saturday announced in a joint letter their support of Sen. Bernie Sanders’ campaign for President. The group cites the senator’s consistent record, intersectional policy proposals and leadership as reasons they back Sanders.“A Sanders presidency would go a long way toward creating a safer and more just world,” the letter says. “The commitment to free college education, the elimination of student debt which so many of our students suffer under, and the enfranchisement of incarcerated citizens, are only some of the reasons we have come to this conclusion. His support of a commission to study reparations for slavery is another reason for our decision, as well as his staunch commitment to the needs of poor and working people over the course of his career.”

The letter of support comes on the heels of a recent Reuters poll showing Sen. Sanders leading the national primary field among Black voters, with twenty-six percent saying they support Sanders.

Dr. Barbara Ransby, one of the organizers of the endorsement effort and author of the award-winning biography on civil rights leader, Ella Baker, said that: “It is Black History Month. This is an historic election. We wanted to make our voices heard as scholars who write, research and teach about the struggles of Black people in this country. We feel the platform of the Sanders campaign and the movement his campaign is building offer the best hope for the future in terms of racial, economic and gender justice and for peace.”
The text of the letter and the full slate of endorsements is below.

We are Black scholars, writers and educators whose careers have been devoted to uncovering, analyzing, telling the stories, and uplifting the cultures of African Americans and peoples of the African Diaspora. We are also deeply invested in the freedom of our people and the subjects of our research.

In this crucible year of 2020, when so much is at stake, not only for Black people but for all people, and all life on the planet, we feel it imperative that we step outside of our classrooms and go beyond our campuses, to speak out on the current presidential election.
After much research and reflection we have concluded that while imperfect, as we all are, Bernie Sanders, the politics he advocates, the consistent track record he demonstrates, and the powerful policy changes he has outlined, if elected, would make the most far-reaching and positive impact on the lives and condition of Black people, and all people in the United States. A Sanders presidency would go a long way toward creating a safer and more just world. The commitment to free college education, the elimination of student debt which so many of our students suffer under, and the enfranchisement of incarcerated citizens, are only some of the reasons we have come to this conclusion. His support of a commission to study reparations for slavery is another reason for our decision, as well as his staunch commitment to the needs of poor and working people over the course of his career. 
At the same time we respect our friends and colleagues that have chosen the other progressive candidate in the race, Elizabeth Warren, and if she wins the primary, we will support her too. Still, we feel it is important to state flatly that we feel a Sanders campaign can win and a Sanders presidency would be a game changer for the people and communities of which we are a part. 
While we are not all democratic socialists, we will not be red baited to reject and vilify Bernie Sanders’ views. In fact there is a long and strong tradition of Black socialists in the United States and globally that have fought for racial and economic justice, from the great scholar and intellectual, W.E.B. DuBois to labor leader, A. Philip Randolph to legendary civil rights organizer, Ella Baker. So, we see Sanders’ commitment to challenging the ravages of racial capitalism as connected to an ongoing and ideologically diverse Black Freedom Movement.
We live in perilous but promising times. What we do or don’t do in 2020 in the electoral arena, and beyond, will determine the future trajectory of this country and the world. We invite you to stand with us and support the Bernie Sanders campaign, as one step away from the precipice of fascism and toward a brighter more just future.
Note: Titles and institutional affiliations are listed for identification purposes only and in no way reflect any institutional endorsement whatsoever. Signers are acting in their capacity as private citizens.
  1. Beatrice J. Adams, Doctoral candidate, History, Rutgers Unviersity
  2. Nikol G. Alexander-Floyd, J.D., Ph.D., Associate Professor, Rutgers University
  3. Laylah Ali, Professor of Art, Williams College
  4. Abdul Alkalimat, Professor Emeritus, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  5. Sam Anderson, Center for the Advancement of Black Education
  6. Herman L. Bennett, Professor of History at the Graduate Center, City University of New York
  7. Carwil Bjork-James, Associate Professor, Vanderbilt University
  8. Eduardo Bonilla-Silva, Professor, Sociology, Duke University
  9. Carole Boyce Davies, Professor of English and Africana Studies, Cornell University
  10. Lisa Brock, Associate Professor of History, Kalamazoo College
  11. Elsa Barkley Brown, Associate Professor of History and Women’s Studies, University of Maryland College Park
  12. Nicole A. Burrowes, Assistant Professor, African and African Diaspora Studies Department, University of Texas, Austin
  13. Linda E. Carty, Associate Professor, African American Studies, Syracuse University
  14. Rosa Clemente, Professor, Independent Journalist, Producer
  15. Matthew Countryman, Associate Professor, Departments of History and American Culture University of Michigan
  16. Dana-Ain Davis, Professor, City University of New York
  17. Michael Dawson, John D. MacArthur Professor of Political Science and the College, University of Chicago
  18. Frank Deale, Professor of Law, City University of New York Law School
  19. Ajamu Amiri Dillahunt, Ph.D. Student, Michigan State University
  20. James Counts Early, Former Assistant Secretary for Education and Public Service Smithsonian Institution
  21. Erica R. Edwards, Associate Professor of English, Rutgers University-New Brunswick
  22. Ashley D. Farmer Ph.D., Assistant Professor, History & African & African Diaspora Studies, University of Texas-Austin
  23. Crystal N. Feimster, Professor, Yale University, African American Studies Department American Studies Program, History Department, and Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program
  24. Jonathan Fenderson, Assistant Professor of African & African-American Studies at Washington University in St. Louis and Associate Editor, The Black Scholar
  25. Johanna Fernández, PhD, Department of History, Baruch College, City University of New York
  26. Bill Fletcher Jr., Independent Scholar and Author, Executive Editor, Global African Worker
  27. Tyrone Forman, Professor, African American Studies and Sociology, University of Illinois at Chicago
  28. Paul Foster, MPA, Emerita Clinical Co-ordinator, Harlem Physician Assistant Program, Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education, CCNY
  29. Olubukola Gbadegesin, Associate Professor, African American Studies and Art History, Saint Louis University
  30. Adom Getachew, Neubauer Family Assistant Professor of Political Science and the College, University of Chicago
  31. Keedra Gibba, Teacher of History and Social Studies, Francis W. Parker School, Chicago
  32. Dayo Gore, Professor, Ethnic Studies and Critical Gender Studies, University of California, San Diego
  33. Cecilia A. Green, Associate Professor of Sociology, Syracuse University
  34. Josh Guild, Associate Professor of History and African American Studies, Princeton University
  35. Sarah Haley, Associate Professor, University of California, Los Angeles
  36. Darrick Hamilton, Professor and Director, Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity at The Ohio State University
  37. Michael G. Hanchard, Gustave C. Kuemmerle Professor and Chair of the Department of Africana Studies, University of Pennsylvania
  38. Diane Harriford, Professor, Department of Sociology, Vassar College
  39. Cheryl I. Harris, Professor, University of California, Los Angeles
  40. Faye V. Harrison, Professor of African American Studies and Anthropology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  41. Renee Camille Hatcher, Assistant Professor of Law, John Marshall, University of Illinois at Chicago
  42. Kelly Lytle Hernandez, Professor and Thomas E. Lifka Chair in History, University of California, Los Angeles
  43. Marc Lamont Hill, Professor and the Steve Charles Chair in Media, Cities and Solutions, College of Media and Education, Temple University
  44. Elizabeth Hinton, Professor of History and African and African American Studies, Harvard University
  45. Gerald Horne, Moores Professor of History and African American Studies, University of Houston
  46. Zenzele Isoke, Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies, University of Minnesota
  47. Lynette A. Jackson, Associate Professor, Gender and Women’s Studies and Black Studies, University of Illinois at Chicago
  48. Joy James, Ebenzer Fitch Professor of the Humanities, Williams College
  49. Destin Jenkins, Assistant Professor of History, University of Chicago
  50. Ryan Cecil Jobson, Neubauer Family Assistant Professor, Anthropology, University of Chicago
  51. Cheryl Johnson-Odim, Ph.D., Provost Emerita and Professor of History, Dominican University, Illinois
  52. Tracey Johnson, Ph.D. candidate, Rutgers University
  53. Robin D.G. Kelley, Distinguished Professor and Gary B. Nash Endowed Chair in U.S. History, University of California, Los Angeles
  54. Ainsley LeSure, Assistant Professor of Politics, Black Studies Advisory Council, Occidental College
  55. La TaSha Levy, Assistant Professor of American Ethnic Studies, University of Washington-Seattle
  56. R. L’Heureux Lewis-McCoy, Associate Professor, New York University
  57. Toussaint Losier, Assistant Professor, University of Massachusetts – Amherst
  58. Sheldon Bernard Lyke, Assistant Professor at Northern Kentucky University Chase College of Law
  59. Minkah Makalani, Director of the John L. Warfield Center for African and African American Studies, University of Texas at Austin
  60. Austin McCoy, Assistant Professor of History, Auburn University
  61. Deborah E. McDowell, Alice Griffin Professor of English, Director, Carter G. Woodson Institute, University of Virginia
  62. Erik S. McDuffie, Associate Professor, Department of African American Studies, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  63. Mireille Miller-Young, Associate Professor, Feminist Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara
  64. Quincy T. Mills, Associate Professor of History, University of Maryland, College Park
  65. Leith Mullings, Distinguished Professor of Anthropology Emerita, Graduate Center, City University of New York
  66. Donna Murch, Associate Professor of History, Rutgers University
  67. Linda Rae Murray, M.D., MPH, Adjunct Assistant Professor, School of Public Health, University of Illinois at Chicago
  68. Premilla Nadasen, Professor of History, Barnard College, and President of the National Women’s Studies Association (2018 -2020)
  69. Celia E. Naylor, Associate Professor of History and Africana Studies, Barnard College, Columbia University
  70. Rosemary Ndubuizu, Ph.D., Interdisciplinary Scholar, Washington, D.C.
  71. Mark Anthony Neal, James B. Duke Distinguished Professor of African American Studies, Duke University
  72. Prexy Rozell Nesbitt, Presidential Fellow, Chapman University
  73. Margo Okazawa-Rey, Barbara Lee Distinguished Chair, Mills College & Professor Emerita, San Francisco State University
  74. James Padilioni, Jr, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Fellow and Visiting Assistant Professor of Religion, Swarthmore College
  75. Melina Pappademos, Associate Professor of History and Africana Studies, University of Connecticut
  76. Kaneesha Cherelle Parsard, Provost’s Postdoctoral Fellow, English, University of Chicago
  77. Tianna S. Paschel, Associate Professor, University of California, Berkeley
  78. Earl Picard, Independent Scholar, Atlanta, Georgia
  79. Steven C. Pitts, UC Berkeley Center for Labor Research and Education
  80. Sherie M. Randolph, Associate Professor of History, Georgia Institute of Technology
  81. Barbara Ransby, Distinguished Professor, African American Studies, Gender and Women’s Studies and History, University of Illinois at Chicago
  82. Ismail Rashid, Professor of History, Vassar College
  83. Aisha Ray, Professor Emerita, Erikson Institute
  84. Shana L. Redmond, Professor, University of California, Los Angeles
  85. Russell Rickford, Associate Professor of History, Cornell University
  86. J. T. Roan, Assistant Professor of African American Studies, School of Transformation, Arizona State University
  87. Francesca T. Royster, Professor, DePaul University
  88. Tanya L. Saunders, Associate Professor, Center for Latin American Studies, University of Florida
  89. Kesho Yvonne Scott, Professor Emerita, Grinnell College
  90. Barbara Smith, Independent Scholar, Albany, New York
  91. Lester Spence, Professor of Political Science and Africana Studies, Johns Hopkins University
  92. Robyn C. Spencer, Associate Professor, Lehman College, City University of New York
  93. David Stovall, Professor, Black Studies, University of Illinois at Chicago
  94. Stacey Sutton, Assistant Professor, Urban Planning & Policy, University of Illinois at Chicago
  95. Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, Assistant Professor, Department of African American Studies, Princeton University
  96. Ula Y. Taylor, Professor of African American Studies, University of California, Berkeley
  97. Alia R. Tyner-Mullings, Associate Professor, Sociology, Guttman Community College, City University of New York
  98. Melissa M. Valle, Assistant Professor, Sociology and African American Studies, Rutgers University-Newark
  99. Stephen Ward, Department of Afroamerican & African Studies (DAAS), Residential College, University of Michigan
  100. Jakobi Williams, Ruth N. Halls Associate Professor, Indiana University
  101. Naomi R. Williams, PhD, Assistant Professor, Rutgers University
  102. Hazel Carby, Charles C & Dorathea S Dilley Professor of African American Studies & American Studies at Yale University.
  103. George Yancy, Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor of Philosophy, Emory University
  104. Jasmine K. Syedullah, Assistant Professor of Africana Studies, Vassar College

 

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Belén Sisa

National Constituency Press Secretary 
Bernie 2020
Twitter: @belensisaw