Dozens of writers from across Africa and the diaspora have co-signed a letter of support for the Black Lives Matter movement in the face of growing protests in the United States following the latest death of an unarmed Black man, George Floyd, at the hands of white police officers.
Read the text below:
As African writers without borders who are connected beyond geography with those who live in the United States of America and other parts of the African diaspora, we state that we condemn the acts of violence on Black people in the United States of America.
We note in dismay that what Malcolm X said in Ghana in 1964 that “for the twenty million of us in America who are of African descent, it’s not an American dream; it’s an American nightmare” remains true for 37 million in 2020.
We condemn the murders of:
George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Sandra Bland, Amadou Diallo, Ahmaud Arbery, Aiyana Mo’Nay Stanly-Jones, Tony McDade, Pamela Turner, Matthew Ajibade, Rekia Boyd, Eric Garner, John Crawford III, Michael Brown, Shelly Frey, Ezelll Ford, Dante Parker, Michelle Casseaux, Yvette Smith, Darnesha Harris, Laquan Mcdonald, Atatiana Jefferson, George Mann, Tanisha Anderson, Akai Gurley, Tamir Rice, Rumain Brisbon, Jerame Reid, Frank Smart, Natasha Mckenna, Tony Robinson, Anthony Hill, William Chapman II, Alberta Spruill, Walter Scott, Shantell Davis, Eric Harris, Philip White, Mya Hall, Alexia Christian, Brendon Glenn, Victor Manuel Larosa, Jonathan Sanders, Salvado Ellswood, Joseph Mann, Freddie Blue, Albert Joseph Davis, Darrius Stewart, Billy Ray Davis, Samuel Dubose, Troy Robinson, Christian Taylor, Sean Bell, Brian Keith Day, Michael Sabbie, Asshams Pharoah Manley, Felix Kumi, Keith Harrison McLeod, Junior Prosper, Anthony Ashford, Dominic Hutchinson, Paterson Brown, Lamontez Jones, Bettie Jones, Alonzo Smith, Tyree Crawford India Kager, Janet Wilson, Sylville Smith, Benni Lee Tignor, Yvonne Smallwood, Kayla Moore and all other names, known and unknown, that represent human beings who are our kin.
We support the protests in the United States and across the world as our people demand justice for any and all racial killings whether by police or civilians. We are aware that these are not quiet protests. We do not expect it and neither should the United States of America. The killings were not done quietly. The police brutality and state sanctioned murders were done loudly with no fear of consequences from those who perpetrated them.
We acknowledge the African Union’s condemnation of the United States government’s continual terrorism towards African-Americans. We believe that the African Union can and should do better.
We ask that African governments recognise our alliance and connections with our brothers and sisters across borders, from America to Brazil and through the rest of the diaspora. That they offer those who choose it: refuge, homes and citizenship in the name of pan-Africanism.
We demand that the American legal institutions independently investigate every police killing as well as investigate any complaint against police violence.
We demand that any accused be suspended without pay until a fair trial clears them of charges. In essence, we are asking the United States of America to be brave enough to adhere to its own bill of rights so that it can be the land of the free for ALL Americans regardless of colour, creed or sexual orientation.
We assert that Black Lives Matter. As writers, we raise our fists in solidarity with those who refuse to be silenced. To our brothers and sisters in the United States, we stand with you.
We ask all decent human beings to join us in being our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers. As they protest in the United States, please give whatever donations you can to #BlackLivesMatter.