- Editor’s NoteI’m Sick of Black Folks Getting Killed . . .
There are a few items that i would like to address in this editorial. The first portion of my essay considers access and membership into the Association of Black Sexologists. The second part of this narrative will briefly discuss my reaction to Ta-Nehisi Coates’ book Between the World and Me (2015). The third and final segment will introduce the articles for this issue of the jbsr.
Access and Membership
The Association of Black Sexologists and Clinicians was formed slightly over one year ago and is an organization devoted to addressing the sexual health needs of persons of African descent. The organization seeks to galvanize clinicians, educators, and scholars who have an interest in addressing issues of intersectionality (e.g., race and sexuality) in their research, clinical best practice, and/or pedagogy. The absc offers an open and free membership (until May, 2016) so that people from all socioeconomic circumstances can access information, experience networking opportunities, and engage in critical discussions around intersectionality.
I recently spoke at the National Sexuality Education conference in New Brunswick, New Jersey and I shared with the 700 people in attendance the mission, vision, and projected outcomes of the Association of Black Sexologists and Clinicians. I was asked by several attendees if people who do not identify as Black, African American, or a person of color if they could join the absc and I responded, “Yes.” Like other national and international sexuality organizations, we encourage persons from all backgrounds to come and share their professional experiences with our community. While the name suggests that we specifically target persons of African descent, [End Page vii] we hope to engage all those willing to have a different dialogue and experience in formal settings (e.g., conferences). The different dialogue addresses intersectionality and takes into account the historical and contemporary substrates that inform affective, cognitive, and behavioral accounts of persons of African descent or those who research, teach, or clinically serve this unique population.
One of the unforeseen gifts of the absc Black Families, Black Relationships, Black Sexuality conference this past October, 2015 is that we had a handful of people who did not identify as persons of color. There were a number of people who referred to themselves as “allies” and are sensitive to the experiences of persons of African descent. Their reflections, analyses, and input were important as it helped move the field of sexuality education and research to a greater level of sensitivity around white supremacy, power, privilege, entitlements, and access. However you identity yourself, we hope that you consider the Association of Black Sexologists and Clinicians as a means to learn, grow, and network.
Between the World and Me . . . .
The emergence of the recent social justice movement has come at the expense of dead Black boys, girls, men, and women over the past three years or so. But then, Black folks have been getting killed since Africans were brought to the “free world” over three centuries ago. It is only due to social media that the world has begun to take notice and consider becoming accountable for systemic oppression and violence. I write this editorial only a few hours after the grand jury failed to bring charges against the police officers who killed twelve year old Tamir Rice and only a few days after no one was found responsible for the death of Sandra Bland or Laquan Mcdonald.
Here are the names of a few of our brothers and sisters who have been slain in the past three years: Freddie Gray, Walter Scott, Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Darrien Hunt, Ezel Ford, Omar Abrego, Tamir Rice, Tanesha Anderson, Rumain Brisbon, John Crawford III, Keith Vidal, Kajieme Powell, Akai Gurley, Jason Harrison, Michael Pollow, Trayvonne Martin, Tania Harris, Sandra Bland, and Laquan McDonald. While these are only a few names of people who have died at the hands of law enforcement violence, this list does not include the those Black folks who have died at the hands of other Black people over the past thirty years.
I’m sick of Black folks getting killed and people not being held accountable. I’m [End Page...