Commentary: Free Speech and Anti-Blackness

Branden Elmore and Dwayne Wright
Inside Higher Ed

Excerpt: The queen’s passing and the transition of the monarchy brought many together to mourn the death of a historical figure, yet some felt that her legacy was not worth celebrating. Like most people, Queen Elizabeth’s life was filled with complication. Thus, contemplation on her life and death might be expected to invoke complicated reactions.

Enter racism. It is not surprising that responses to the death of the queen from higher education institutions in the United States follow frames that are anti-Black and dismissive of the degrading histories of British control. Now, more than two years after the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and others in 2020, higher education continues to struggle with issues of race, power and its own historical legacies.