Print

Today the SCAA Board unanimously approved the following statement:

SCAA Statement on Racism and Recent Events

First and foremost, the South Carolina Archival Association affirms that Black Lives Matter. 

We condemn the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, and the countless other Black lives lost at the hands of white supremacy and police brutality. We condemn systemic racism that permeates through our society, police violence and abuse of power against protestors and historically against Black lives, and we stand with those demanding an end to systemic racism in South Carolina, the United States, and the world. 

With the arrival of enslaved Africans in 1671, white supremacy and violence against people of color became foundations of our state’s history. South Carolina’s secession, the lynching of Willie Earle, the Orangeburg Massacre, the murder of Walter Scott, and the present-day mass incarceration of people of color, among countless other injustices, demonstrate South Carolina’s role in systemic racism.

We, the South Carolina Archival Association, will actively work against white supremacy in the archives, the archival profession, and our communities. Archives and archivists have not ever been neutral. For too long, archivists have been complicit in silencing Black voices in both the historical record and the archival profession. We urge white archivists to acknowledge their privilege, to commit themselves to anti-racist practice, and to create systemic change within the profession as a whole. We must amplify Black voices, in the historical record, in the profession, and in our communities. 

If we are to dismantle white supremacy in the archives, we must work towards anti-racism in all aspects of our work, including collecting, appraisal, description, access, education, and outreach. The SCAA commits to making this work a permanent, central focus of our organization moving forward. In early July, the Executive Board will meet to discuss short-term and long-term actions the organization can take to dismantle white supremacy through a commitment to anti-racist work. We welcome and encourage member input as we take these important steps. If you have questions, comments, or suggestions, please contact SCAA President Jim Cross at jcross@clemson.edu.

For further resources please consult the following: