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Posted 04.06.20

Supporting Black Lives Matter

By Sarah Packer

Plymouth College of Art stands in solidarity with the Black community. When faced with brutality, fear and ignorance, we need to search for what we can still hold on to, what we can still believe in. Our collective community can be proud of the college’s mission — to educate, challenge perspectives and harness creativity as a catalyst for cultural transformation. We recognise that we still have so much more to do as we continue to learn, listen and reflect.

We are in a position of overwhelming privilege and we should look to do good, listen, educate ourselves, hold ourselves accountable, challenge those around us, lead and listen to difficult conversations, argue and sometimes be angry, and most importantly to take our energy offline and into the real world. Ignorance is not an option.

We are serious about making change, and conversations are being had at the most senior level to ensure our response is long-term, meaningful and measurable. This will be a public conversation, not something we wish to resolve quietly behind the scenes. Our college community is a microcosm of the small, majority-white South West peninsula we occupy, and we recognise our duty to amplify black voices and embed representation within our curriculum, staff body, and visiting lecture series, whilst encouraging students to interrogate media sources.

It’s why we have just validated a new BA Film Studies course featuring at least 50% of its content from non-white filmmakers - but this isn’t enough. We are reexamining our curriculum and organisational areas, where issues of representation will be central to the design of this new curriculum. We will commit to conducting a college-wide conversation about representation, from race and culture to gender and sexuality, throughout the next academic year - more details to follow. Our Library will continue with its project on inclusivity and how the library collection represents our student body, including the addition of more books covering Black history and the civil rights movement. 

We are all living through a complex moment of change, perhaps heightened by the impact of COVID-19. During this period of reflection, we hope you will join us in taking the opportunity for a cultural reset to reevaluate the way we live and how we interact with one another. George Floyd’s murder in the US; a harrowing example of racism and police brutality —  another reset and more reason to confront racial inequality here in the UK.

Academia is not separate to society, society will always intervene. There is a relationship between learning and living and education providers must regularly re-negotiate their terms with the world to be a catalyst and vehicle for change. One of Plymouth College of Art’s propositions has always been ‘how the purpose of learning is inseparable from that of living your life’ — this holds true in moments like these. We all have so much to learn. 

A single statement will not dismantle systemic racism, this is just the start. We know we are already late to action.

Plymouth College of Art's ten propositions.

Mental Health Resources for our Black and POC Community

Check-in with your Black and POC friends, family, loved ones, and co-workers, let them know you are there if they need you for personal support.

For our community experiencing trauma, you may find some useful resources below to help support your mental health:

Our Student Support Team is also on hand, you can get in touch via studentsupport@pca.ac.uk or the Student Portal.
 

Resources to Learn

Please read through the resources below to donate, read, follow, watch and take action. 

Donate to:

Read:

  • Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race - Reni Eddo-Lodge
  • Me & White Supremacy - Layla F Saad
  • White Fragility - Robin DiAngelo
  • So You Want To Talk About Race - Ijeoma Oluo
  • Brit(ish): On Race, Identity and Belonging - Afua Hirsch
  • Natives - Akala
  • The Fire Next Time - James Baldwin
  • Sister Outsider - Audre Lorde
  • White Tears/Brown Scars - Ruby Hamad
  • Think Like A White Man - Dr Boule Whytelaw III
  • When They Call You a Terrorist - Patrisse Cullors and Asha Bandele
  • Road Map for Revolutionaries - Elisa Camahort Page, Carolyn Gerin and Jamia Wilson
  • I’m Still Here - Austin Channing Brown
  • Dark Days - James Baldwin
  • Diversify - June Sarpong
  • How To Be Antiracist - Ibram X. Kendi
  • Don’t Touch My Hair - Emma Dabiri
  • The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness - Michelle Alexander
  • Freedom Is A Constant Struggle - Angela Davis
  • They Can’t Kill Us All - Wesley Lowery
  • Your Silence Will Not Protect You - Audre Lorde
  • White Girls - Hilton Als
  • Black and British: A Forgotten History - David Olusoga
  • The Good Immigrant - edited by Nikesh Shukla
  • The Next American Revolution: Sustainable Activism for the Twenty-First Century - Grace Lee Boggs
  • The Warmth of Other Suns - Isabel Wilkerson
  • Their Eyes Were Watching God - Zora Neale Hurston
  • This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color - Cherríe Moraga
  • When Affirmative Action Was White: An Untold History of Racial Inequality in Twentieth-Century America - Ira Katznelson

This is just the tip of the iceberg, and we hope you join us in using these books as a starting point to reading more and researching further. Please consider purchasing books from independent booksellers or if you get them free on Kindle consider making a donation to one of the charities listed above. 

Follow: 

Watch:

  • 13th - Ava Duvernay - Netflix
  • American Son - Kenny Leon - Netflix
  • Dear White People - Justin Simien - Netflix
  • See You Yesterday - Stefon Bristol - Netflix
  • When They See Us - Ava Duvernay - Netflix
  • If Beale Street Could Talk - Barry Jenkins - Hulu
  • The Hate You Give - George Tillman Jr - Hulu
  • Selma - Ava Duvernay - Amazon Prime
  • I Am Not Your Negro - Raoul Peck - Amazon Prime
  • Just Mercy - Destin Daniel Cretton - Amazon Prime
  • Black Feminism & the Movement for Black Lives: Barbara Smith, Reina Gossett, Charlene Carruthers (50:48)
  • Black Power Mixtape: 1967-1975 - Available to rent
  • Blindspotting - Carlos López Estrada -  Hulu
  • Clemency - Chinonye Chukwu - Available to rent
  • Fruitvale Station - Ryan Coogler - Available to rent
  • King In The Wilderness - HBO
  • See You Yesterday - Stefon Bristol - Netflix
  • The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution - Available to rent

Petitions: 


Further resources:

Resources compiled by Sarah Sophie Flicker, Alyssa Klein in May 2020

Anti Racist Action Resources 

If you have suggested resources or reading please email editor@pca.ac.uk.

  • Manifesto

    We want to discover what you stand for and give you a platform to voice your beliefs and opinions. Read our manifesto for change here.

    21.01.19
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