March 2, 2023

Physicists Call For Support of Black Studies, LGBTQ+ Visibility

Particles for Justice, a diverse group of physicists, are calling on their colleagues to support Black Studies and LGBTQ+ visibility.

The group, who also organized the 2020 Strike For Black Lives, is now calling on academics and professional societies to take a visible and active stand against the “authoritarian” attacks on Black and queer studies.

The group includes participle physicist and feminist scholar Chanda Prescod-Weinstein as well as physicists Tim M.P. Tait (University of California, Irvine) and Nausheen Shah (Wayne State University).

In a statement, the group criticized the “manufactured moral panic” that has led to campaigns against Black Studies.

For example, the College Board recently stripped the AP curriculum for African American studies of scholars associated with critical race theory, queer studies, and Black feminism. This included writers like Kimberlé W. Crenshaw, Ta-Nehisi Coates, and bell hooks.

Similarly, a Florida bill (HB 999) seeks to ban any funding for diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives at state institutions. The bill also bans curriculums based on “unproven, theoretical, or exploratory content” and those that define “American history as contrary to the creation of a new nation based on universal principles stated in the Declaration of Independence.”

Read: Girls Who Code Books Banned From Schools, Founder Speaks Out

“We state unequivocally that an attack on Black Studies and intersectional analyses of white supremacy and patriarchy is an anti-intellectual threat to all of us,” writes Particles for Justice, recognizing the extent to which the discipline has informed the work of scientists around the world.

“We stand in solidarity with our colleagues who do the difficult work of analyzing why our society is the way it is, and who also gift us with visions of a better world.”

Samara Linton

Community Manager at POCIT | Co-editor of The Colour of Madness: Mental Health and Race in Technicolour (2022), and co-author of Diane Abbott: The Authorised Biography (2020)