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​Statement of Solidarity with Black Lives

The recent murders of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, and Rayshard Brooks at the hands of police have prompted a necessary outcry against injustice and oppression of Black persons in America. In solidarity with these individuals marching against white supremacy and police brutality, the State Library of Pennsylvania issues the following statement:

We condemn:

The institution of slavery which haunts our society to the present day in the form of statues and memorials of slave owners erected throughout the nation, the indifference toward reparations for the descendants of slaves, and government refusal to acknowledge the crimes of our forebearers.

The lingering effects of Jim Crow and segregation such as segregated educational institutions, redlining, voter suppression through gerrymandering and reduced access to polling places, and discriminatory hiring practices.

The prison-industrial complex and its abuse of human rights, such as use of forced labor as punishment for nonviolent offenses, denial of voting rights, physical abuse, and psychological abuse through solitary confinement.

The militarization of law enforcement and unjust and escalated tactics against Black populations such as stop-and-frisk policies, unwarranted search of property, racial profiling, use of tear gas and rubber bullets against protesters, and deliberate targeting of those who oppose these tactics in Black communities.

We affirm:

The struggle of Black persons to be free from the aforementioned structures of white supremacy manifest throughout the United States.

Our part as an institution in the perpetuation of white supremacy through policies and practices past and present, and our need to right these wrongs in partnership with the Black community.

We commit to:

An institutional position of support and solidary for Black persons, both in our community and worldwide, crafted in concert with Black persons and organizations to better serve these communities as allies.

Offering educational support and guidance, as well as a physical space for meeting and collaboration, as outlined in our Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Statement, working to guide individuals through the labyrinth of state, federal government, and law, in order that they might see their goals met and burdens lifted.