The murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, Ahmaud Arbery, and so many others—and the international protests that have erupted in response—have thrown ever-starker light on the continuing threat of white supremacy and institutionalized violence against communities of color. In case this was not clear from the work we have published (and because we must be clear and explicit about this always), this publication believes, and unequivocally supports, #BlackLivesMatter. We know that silence is complicity. Education and solidarity are as important as ever, if not more so, and we are committed to educating ourselves and others, as well as amplifying the voices that most need to be heard.
We, the editors and writers of The Public Medievalist, unilaterally condemn the bigoted and violent actions perpetrated by law enforcement upon BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) individuals and communities in this country and we acknowledge their place within a long and horrible history that, whether we like it or not, has intersected repeatedly and closely with the celebration and study of Western European medieval culture. Our goal and mission remain to educate the public on not just the medieval itself, but on the ways in which medieval ideas have been co-opted and corrupted to serve white supremacist ends.
Several excellent statements have been made in the past weeks that have laid bare the history of violence against communities of color in the United States, and made clear calls for action from individuals and from people in power. We urge our readers to educate themselves and others, and to support the many organizations working tirelessly to help those fighting systemic racism in the streets. Three of them are:
Our series Race, Racism and the Middle Ages is still ongoing, with an article added to the collection just this morning on the toxic medievalism of Confederate monuments—some of which have been recently slated for removal. We are eager to publish the writing of medievalists addressing the ongoing histories of white supremacy and racial injustice and its intersections with the Middle Ages. As always, we particularly invite contributions from scholars, activists, and writers of color. You can find our submission guidelines here: https://www.publicmedievalist.com/write-public-medievalist/