Black Lives Matter.

Grieving and outraged, we of the American Literary Translators Association declare our solidarity with Black people in the United States in the fight to defend their rights and to demonstrate against systemic anti-Black violence and oppression by the police and in all forms.

Black lives matter.

We cannot remain silent. In all the languages we work from and into as translators, we raise our voices to protest the abuses of power and oppression inflicted systematically on Black communities across the United States. We say their names: George Floyd. Breonna Taylor. Ahmaud Arbery. Sandra Bland. Eric Garner. Trayvon Martin. And too many others who have been silenced.

Black lives matter.

ALTA commits to diversity, equity, and inclusion as core strengths and essential elements of our mission. With this commitment firmly in mind we are drawing on our personal and communal resources to think beyond our grief and outrage to the work we can and must do to be mindful of ourselves and others, we will listen, improve our own organization and create an inclusive environment where everyone feels welcomed, safe, and that their voices matter.

Black lives matter.

We recommend the excellent resources suggested by our fellow-translators at Words Without Borders.

As well as several other resources:

Support Black-owned bookstores.

Read John Keene’s “Translating Poetry, Translating Blackness.”

Read this article which came out of an ALTA roundtable:
Perry, Adrienne, Lee, Ji yoon, Villarreal, Stalina, Kaza, Madhu, Siegert, Yvette, & Missaghi, Pouphe. (2018). Instigating the Future: Cross-pollinations of Race and Translation. Gulf Coast (Summer/Fall, 30.2), 180-200.

…and “Translating the Uncertain Present,” a conversation between Madhu Kaza and Lina Mounzer, which is part of the ongoing Translating the Future series organized by the PEN American Center, the Center for the Humanities, and the Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library.

All Black lives matter everywhere.


The Board and Staff of the American Literary Translators Association:
Elisabeth Jaquette, Kelsi Vanada, Rachael Daum, Jessica Sue Vocatura
Ellen Elias-Bursac, Annie Fisher, Samantha Schnee, Patrick Blaine
Aron Aji, Nancy Naomi Carlson, David Gramling, Liz Harris, Aviya Kushner, Sebastian Schulman

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2 Responses to Black Lives Matter.

  1. Marguerite Feitlowitz says:

    Yes, yes, yes, yes and thank you for this eloquence

  2. Paul Daw says:

    Thank you, Board and staff. It’s vital to stand up, speak out, and be counted.

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