Wednesday, January 6, 2021 will live in infamy as a day when democracy in the United States sustained a direct assault from domestic terrorists. The violent insurrection so many of us witnessed through media coverage of the event was directly incited by the President and by certain Senators and Representatives to overturn the Constitutional processes in place for a peaceful transition of power to a new presidential administration. On Friday, the Organization of American Historians signed on to a statement by the American Historical Association condemning the actions of those who stormed the United States Capitol which, as we know now, included the intention to kidnap or kill Vice President Pence, Speaker of the House Pelosi, and other elected legislators and their staff. The insurrection and assault on the Capitol did take the lives of five individuals, including a Capitol policeman defending the building and those inside. Those who were involved in and who incited the insurrection must be held to account for their actions and prosecuted. Read more.
In his September 17, 2020, speech at the National Archives on history education, President Trump railed against “Critical race theory, the 1619 Project, and the crusade against American history,” which he characterized as “toxic propaganda, ideological poison that, if not removed, will dissolve the civic bonds that tie us together. It will destroy our country.” Read more.
Reading list: Want a better understanding of racism and privilege in America? USC Dornsife faculty give their suggestions for books and articles that provide historical and cultural context for what’s taking place across the country, and offer ways to create change.
A STATEMENT FROM THE ORGANIZATION OF AMERICAN HISTORIANS,
By George J Sánchez, OAH President, 2020-2021
“And Justice For All.” When my immigrant parents first sent me to school, they had little knowledge that the pledge I was asked to recite every morning ended with a phrase that was an unfulfilled promise in a nation they now called their own. The murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery by those entrusted to uphold the law and the justice system in the past few months, has made clear how far this country still has to go to fulfill that promise. Read more
Amelia Jones as Chair of Critical Studies and Vice Dean of Research in the Roski School of Art and Design
Roski School of Art & Design Statement
Art and design can change worlds for the better, but sometimes statements need to be made before the creativity begins.
We as a school stand in solidarity with Black communities in the struggle against the unjust and murderous treatment of Black people across the US.
We as a school stand in solidarity with the myriad immigrant communities that have long provided the life blood of this country, state, city, and university.
“Plot. Plan. Strategize. Organize. Mobilize”
A message from Manuel Pastor, Director of USC PERE and CSII
Friday, May 29, was my birthday. What I was hoping would be a time of celebration was instead a day of anger, grief, and mourning as righteous protests swept the country in reaction to the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery.
I wrote these words in 1993, almost exactly 27 years ago: excerpts from the program notes for the world premiere of Anna Deavere Smith’s “Twilight: Los Angles 1992” at the Mark Taper Forum in downtown Los Angeles. Smith interviewed over 200 Angelenos to craft her play. I served as one of the dramaturgs on this landmark work, that remains—alas—all too salient in our current moment. Nothing appears to have changed on a structural level since that time, as the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Philando Castile, Eric Garner, Freddie Gray, and countless others so searingly demonstrate.
Department of American Studies & Ethnicity
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