Ardern’s pronouncement before parliament illustrates how naming is integrally linked with social practice while demonstrating what moral and political leadership looks like in a time of national crisis.
As a Black woman trained in bioanthropology and dedicated to a career trying to undo the residues of social Darwinism and anti-Black racism in museums, I’m concerned about the present state of popular discourse around Africa and Blackness.
An all too familiar approach to the Gordgantuan problem (a double articulation, referencing Gordian and gargantuan, to express, at once, difficulty and enormity) of racism in the United States has been the prodigious search for its ends, its reach, and its grasp.
From critical reflections on the discipline and experiences of it, to grappling with fake news and social media through an anthropological lens, to discussions on race and diversity in the anthropological imagination and the United States more broadly, this year’s top articles speak to major political moments and discipline-specific concerns.
The death toll of schoolchildren, the agony of migrant families seeking safe haven, the mistrust of the “justice” system by people of color—anthropologists need to determine their role in clotting these social wounds. One way forward, I think, is the intersubjective empathy at anthropology’s core.