SOLIDARITY LETTERS AND STATEMENTS

Dr. Anthony Monteiro, over the course of his career, has been a builder of community as well as a respected scholar. Below, students, parents, colleagues and various organizations bring words of solidarity – all reinforcing the call to reinstate Dr. Monteiro as Associate Professor with tenure in Temple University’s African American Studies Department. (Photo left, Dr. Monteiro speaking at labor’s AFSCME District Council 33.)

SOLIDARITY STATEMENT FROM DR. MARC LAMONT HILL

Other solidarity letters, or your intention to sign the Call for Monteiro may be sent by emailing both EMAJ coordinators, Dr.  Fernandez and Dr. Taylor, johanna.fernandez@baruch.cuny.edu AND mark.taylor@ptsem.edu.

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From Dr. Norman Markowitz, Rutgers University

I have known Tony for many years.  I have heard him speak eloquently on vital issues that directly effect us all.  He is a scholar/teacher/activist who shares his knowledge and makes it relevant  to and for the larger society, not someone who sells that knowledge as a commodity to small guilds of fellow scholars  makes himself into an ornament for administrators. Tony can and must be re-instated and the time to do it is now.
Norman Markowitz, Professor, History Department, Rutgers University/New Brunswick

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From parents of a Temple University Student, Medaris and Bobette Banks:

Dr. Neil D. Theobald
President, TempleUniversity
2nd Floor, Sullivan Hall
1330 Polett Walk
Philadelphia, PA19122

Dear Dr. Theobald and Trustees of Temple University:

Let me begin by quoting the Guinean proverb that says: “if it is not cultivated it cannot be harvested.” My wife and I, Medaris and Bobette Banks, are the proud parents of a daughter that is in her final semester at TempleUniversity. We are quite pleased with her experiences here at Temple. We believe that Temple has “cultivated” her in many different ways. Aside from her academic development and the many people with very diverse backgrounds that she has met along the way, it is the faculty that has played a most profound role in her development.

One of the faculty members that have crossed her path is Dr. Anthony Monteiro. It is our belief that Dr. Monteiro is one of your most prolific professors and unfortunately, it has been brought to our attention, that Dr. Monteiro will not have his contract renewed by the university. This decision is very disappointing to us because Dr. Monteiro has played an exemplary role not only within my daughter’s life, but he has played an integral role in many young people who had the fortune of taking one of Dr. Monteiro’s classes and interacting with him on campus.

Let us share something which we find to be very unique and special to our relationship with Dr. Monteiro. We first heard Dr. Monteiro on one of our local radio programs in the Metropolitan Washington, D.C. area. Dr. Monteriro was discussing pertinent political topics of the day as well as additional analysis of W.E.B. Dubois’ role in shaping social political thought. Aside from offering scholarly insight, Dr. Monteiro’s analysis was very easy to understand, and most importantly, he taught the callers even though many had disparate points of view. We later asked my daughter if she was familiar with a Dr. Monteiro, and she informed us that her roommates had had the pleasure of taking a few of Dr. Monteiro’s classes. On parent visits, they informed us that Dr. Monteiro’s classes were extremely thought provoking, and these classes helped them look at themselves differently. They developed an understanding of commitment.  They shared that this level of commitment extended not only to themselves but to their community as well.

We later learned that Dr. Monteiro offered a Saturday class to the Temple students and the residents of the surrounding community. We reached out to Dr. Monteiro and he invited us to attend his classes and that is where the friendship began. We had the fortune of not only attending many classes but attending class along with our daughter. These experiences were special because we experienced the rare relationship that should exist between a university and the community at-large. Dr. Monteiro is the conduit; he is the liaison that a university so desperately needs, and most importantly, what a community so rightfully deserves.

We will close by saying that undoubtedly Dr. Monteiro is part of The Banks family. In conversations we have had with Dr. Monteiro, he spoke passionately of the uniqueness of Temple in that it fosters a special relationship with its students, faculty, and the community. This family relationship rarely exists for a university of Temple’s size; it was for this reason we chose Temple. We truly believe we made the right choice. We ask that you make the right choice and reconsider your decision to ultimately reinstate Dr. Anthony Monteiro to the TempleUniversity family.

Sincerely,

Medaris & Bobette Banks
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From retired professor and former student of Dr. Monteiro, Prof. Tony Thomas:

To whom it may concern:

Please add my name to the many who demand that Tony Monteiro be reinstated at Temple.  He should be given tenure, not only as compensation for the injustice he has faced, but also for his leadership in research, teaching, and fighting for a just relationship between Temple and the community that surrounds it.

I have been aware of Professor Monteiro’s commitment to integrity, justice, and research in Black studies and history for forty-five years.  When I entered academia and learned he taught at Temple,  my respect for that institution was elevated.  His presence at the university caused me to investigate the work of other scholars at Temple which has been quite useful to my own work on the history of the banjo and the intersection of the banjo with African Americans and other African New World people.

Many around this nation and beyond have looked at his dedication to relating the University and scholarship to the real needs of the community as exemplary.  Punishing him for that great work would be a chilling blow not only to African Americans and not only to the Philadelphia community but to all whose scholarship and teachings seek to be a guide to understanding the world and changing it for the benefit of the people, not a dreary exercise of elitism.

I encourage all to do what they can to return Professor Monteiro to the position he has earned by hard scholarly work, teaching that has won the admiration and envy of others in the profession as well as his students, and community leadership.

Tony Thomas,  MFA
Associate Professor of English, retired
Miami Dade College

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