Skip to main content

Statement from the Vanderbilt Department of Anthropology on the MOVE Victims and the Africa Family

The Vanderbilt Department of Anthropology stands in solidarity with the Africa Family and their demands. We further urge that the University of Pennsylvania, the Penn Museum, and Princeton University return the children’s remains to the family and provide restitution per their demands. The social and political conditions resulting in the state-led violence against MOVE and the Africa family in Philadelphia in 1985, followed by the unethical and harmful trafficking of the children’s remains are condemned in the strongest possible terms.We affirm that the human remains of the child victims of this police attack never should have been used in the forensic anthropology class offered by Coursera and affiliated with Princeton University and the University of Pennsylvania.We also endorse the thoughtful and compelling statement issued by the Association of Black Anthropologists (ABA), the Society of Black Archaeologists (SBA), and the Black in Bioanthropology Collective (BiBA), as well as the American Association of Physical (Biological) Anthropologists and the American Anthropological Association.

an•thro•pol•o•gy:  the broadly-based study of humankind that draws its methods from both the sciences and humanities and includes the fields of cultural anthropology, archaeology, biological anthropology, and linguistics.Vanderbilt's Department of Anthropology emphasizes these subdisciplines to achieve a better understanding of the world, past and present. The members of the faculty are internationally prominent for their research and publications on the New World, especially Mesoamerica, the Andes, and Amazonia. The department maintains research interests and active field programs in Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Brazil, Bolivia, Columbia, Peru, Argentina, and Chile. Members of the department and its students participate in the activities of the  Center for Latin American Studies , the  Center for Digital Humanities  and the  Robert Penn Warren Center for the Humanities . These affiliations enhance and enrich undergraduate and graduate teaching of anthropology at Vanderbilt.