ACME Statement of Solidarity in Support of Black Lives Matter and Protestors

2020-06-05

The editorial collective of ACME: An International Journal for Critical Geographers supports Black Lives Matter. 

We support Black communities and we support Black colleagues, staff, students, editors, contributors, artists, front-line workers and workers behind invisible lines. We support Black revolutionaries, disrupters, reviewers, creators, and readers in geography and beyond. 

We support the innumerable protesters rising up against systematically entrenched coloniality, anti-Black racism, and anti-Black police brutality that are the political and economic bedrock of the United States and nation states globally. 

The ACME Collective mourns and rages against the recent murder of George Floyd, Regis Korchinski-Paquet, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, Jamel Floyd, and Ahmaud Arbery. These human beings are but a tiny few of countless Black lives taken by police and state violence. This racist violence stretches across centuries into today. This racist violence is omnipresent and must be overthrown.

The editorial collective of ACME: An International Journal for Critical Geographers condemns systematically entrenched anti-Black racism. We understand anti-Black racism as intertwined with racialized capitalism, colonialism, and ableism, as well as anti-Immigrant, anti-Indigenous, gender-based, and sexual-based violence. These structures of oppression continue to invite and endorse police violence across the globe through the hands of state-sanctioned policies. We honor and we commend those rallying in the streets. We honor and we commend those rallying in their cars, on their bikes, and in their homes. We honor and we commend those who work to create worlds that celebrate Black geographies and lifeways in self-determined ways. 

We celebrate Black communities refusing the violence and ongoing white supremacy that police leave in their wake. While Black communities are bearing a disproportionate exposure to COVID-19, and while Black communities are living through and mourning COVID-19 and COVID-19-related deaths, through harrowing illnesses and family, social, and economic crises, they are also enduring systemic racist police and state violence, police and state violence that kills in multiple ways. Despite this, the world is witnessing almost unprecedented uprising against incessant forms of brutality, uprisings meant to make the whole world a better place. We are thankful for and we celebrate these acts of revolution all around us. We commit to sharing our voices and refusing to let injustices continue with impunity.

The editorial collective of ACME: An International Journal for Critical Geographers is committed to working in solidarity for a better world. As an open access publishing journal, ACME encourages and seeks to amplify work that confronts racial injustice, and the ways it is bound to and perpetuates gender, sexual, disability, class, environmental, anti-immigrant, anti-Indigenous, and colonial injustice. 

At the same time, we recognize that anti-Black and racial injustice are the foundation from which many of us in geography benefit. Like many other disciplines, the field of geography emerged from the structures of imperialism and colonialism to support the goals of white conquest, anti-Inidigeneity, colonialism, and slavery. These disciplinary legacies have not disappeared. We witness them every day in the whiteness of our universities, departments, hiring committees, course content, citation practices, publications, award cultures, journal editorial boards, social media feeds, seminar and keynote speaking invitations, and event spaces and academic leadership. Too frequently do we observe the erasure of Black scholars in fields/topics, even those that intersect with Black geographies. Too often do we read of concepts, theories, and arguments made by Black scholars without the acknowledgment of their scholarly work. Too often do we witness white scholars taking ideas from Black geographers and Black geographies that are celebrated for their groundbreaking work, when that work has been made already by Black members of our discipline. Too often we do not read the thoughts and ideas of Black scholars because their life chances were foreclosed from the outset and geography departments have not advocated for, supported, or protected them in the ways necessary to their success. Too often Black colleagues are passed over because they are deemed not a 'good fit' or 'too niche' by predominantly white institutions that appoint in their own image.

As a journal of critical and radical geography, we are committed to supporting the work of Black Lives Matter and protestors’ calls to abolish systems and institutions which aim to prevent Black success or, even more foundationally, a basic liveability for Black communities. We will continue to support critical and radical scholarship within the field of geography, and look to actively support and encourage Black geographical research and imagination. We commit ourselves to the following action items:

  • We will continue to support and encourage Black geographical work, and scholarship by Black scholars, in our publications.
  • We will continue to invite, include, and respect Black leadership within our collective.
  • We will provide increased forms of support for early-career Black geographers and scholars who aim to publish with ACME.
  • We will encourage all submissions to engage with Black geographies when the intersections are necessary and absent.
  • We will not publish work that fails to acknowledge the Black geographical work it draws from, and/or the Black geographical scholarship it must also be in conversation with.
  • We will continue to identify and work on the ways in which the geographic discipline—including publishers, journals, and institutions—can improve in order to see its Black scholars thrive, are properly cited, are compensated fairly, are provided and supported in more leadership opportunities, and are hired, supported, and advocated for in more geography departments.

Black Lives Matter. Black Lives have always mattered. Black Lives will always matter.

In solidarity, the ACME Editorial Collective