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Africana Studies Program

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Welcome to this online forum for Africana Studies at Bryn Mawr.  This new space is for students in the Africana Studies program to share ideas, resources, links, and announcements.  We will see together how it may be useful to our intellectual community.  If you have questions about using the site or more broadly about the program, please contact Africana Studies Coordinator Prof. Alice Lesnick ( 

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Thinking together about Ferguson

Dear Africana Community:

This past week we have learned, again, about police brutality against a Black man by a white police officer, and more broadly, about an American community too long used to unfair, biased, and mean treatment by the local, largely white police force. The New York Times provided this useful overview of the racial history here.

As their editorial board wrote:

". . . it doesn’t take a federal investigation to understand the history of racial segregation, economic inequality and overbearing law enforcement that produced so much of the tension now evident on the streets. St. Louis has long been one of the nation’s most segregated metropolitan areas, and there remains a high wall between black residents — who overwhelmingly have lower incomes — and the white power structure that dominates City Councils and police departments like the ones in Ferguson."

The persistence of inequality of income, access, and power here and in so many other parts of our country and this world is terrible. We are seeing its consequences everywhere, including with the Ebola epidemic in West Africa, which is the consequence of poverty and inadequate health care structures, which in turn are the direct result of white, Western domination.