ArchaeoCafé Podcast – Episode 28 – Racism in archaeology: An interview with Maria Franklin

hosted by Otis Crandell

In this episode, I talk with Maria Franklin about racism and the lack of people of colour in archaeology.

Listen to this episode online:



Some useful terminology and links

Society of Black Archaeologists
The mission of the Society of Black Archaeologists (SBA) is to promote academic excellence and social responsibility by creating a space for Black archaeologists and other scholars who support SBA’s goals and activities.

Society for Historical Archaeology
a professional organization of scholars concerned with the archaeology of the modern world

Historical archaeology
a form of archaeology dealing with places, things, and issues from the past or present when written records and oral traditions can inform and contextualize cultural material

Antioch Colony
a community in Texas founded by former slaves in 1870,_Texas


Selected publications

Why are there so few black American archaeologists?
by Maria Franklin
Antiquity, 1997, Vol. 71, p. 799-801

“Power to the People”: Sociopolitics and the Archaeology of Black Americans
by Maria Franklin
Historical Archaeology, 1997, Vol. 31(3), p. 36-50

A Black feminist-inspired archaeology?
by Maria Franklin
Journal of Social Archaeology, 2001, Vol. 1(1), p. 108–125

African American descendants, community outreach, and the Ransom and Sarah Williams Farmstead Project
by Maria Franklin & Nedra Lee
Journal of Community Archaeology & Heritage, 2020, Vol. 7(2), p. 135-148

The Future is Now: Archaeology and the Eradication of Anti-Blackness
by Maria Franklin, Justin P. Dunnavant, Ayana Omilade Flewellen & Alicia Odewale
International Journal of Historical Archaeology, 2020, Vol. 4, p. 753–766

Ransom and Sarah Williams Farmstead
Memories of the Past: Oral History, Archeology, and Community Involvement


About Maria Franklin

Dr. Franklin is a professor at the Department of Anthropology at the University of Texas. Her research focuses on the archaeology of historical periods in the USA with a particular emphasis on black populations during and after slavery and incorporates oral history and descendant community involvement. Her interests include also public involvement in archaeological research and the politics of archaeology itself. Dr. Franklin has previously sat on the Board of Directors of the Society for Historical Archaeology.



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