But, Do #BlackLivesMatter In Academia?

“I excused my silence and, frankly, my self-imposed ignorance about the national crisis. Anxiety about conference presentations. Mixed boy problems. Raw pain. I had reason after reason, excuse after excuse. Eventually, I was forced to name the root issue: fear. (Ah, and as the tears instantly began forming after typing those four letters, my suspicion is confirmed.)”

Conditionally Accepted

Source: Elon University. Source: Elon University.

I am embarrassed to admit that this is the first time I have publicly written about the (recent media attention to the) crisis of police violence against Black men and boys in the United States.  Why have I remained silent for months?  From August onward, different reasons have come to mind to explain (or justify?) my self-imposed silence:

  • I was a nervous wreck the days leading up to the American Sociological Association annual meeting in San Francisco, held just a few days after police officer Darren Wilson murdered Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO.  And, while at the conference, there was little discussion of Brown’s death — at least that I encountered.  It seemed, as a discipline and academic organization, sociologists were surprisingly silent about the murder and subsequent riots.  Fortunately, some sociologists were talking about Ferguson, and some were even making a plan to act as…

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