Letter to the Editor

In our classes, Europe and the World Since C. 1450, The Sixties, and Intro to Archaeology, we readily linked to #BlackLivesMatter by exploring historical and anthropological sources on chattel slavery in the Atlantic World, the Civil Rights and Black Power Movements, and the power of archaeology to reveal the hidden history of African-American communities in historical New England. Our students engaged with these materials in ways that we believe will keep making a difference. That was our piece of the teach-in. Overall, 90 faculty members planned their classes in a new way to link to #BlackLivesMatter, and over 2000 students were directly involved in the classroom.

Your article on courses taught for the teach-in – covering police shootings, cultural reactions to Beyonce’s “Formation” and even the connection between plant physiology and black lives – pulls together evidence that our school has the skill and capacity to do new things and to seek to change entrenched patterns.

Toward this end, we propose that now is the time for redoubling FSU’s recruitment efforts to ensure that we have a more representative faculty, especially focused on black faculty. A more representative faculty is essential to take our campus community to the next level of innovation, dialogue and inclusivity. To achieve this requires that we engage more of our faculty in this process.  In our experience, this means providing ways for faculty to know more scholars of color, as well as the work and frameworks offered by scholars of color.  Thus, it is imperative that we invest in enhancing our scholarly networks at conferences, and attend professional meetings in order to actively meet and recruit future faculty of color.

We can do this. Because we did this.

Bridgette Sheridan, 

Associate Professor

Department of History

Benjamin Alberti, 

Professor and Chair

Department of Sociology