Black Lives, Black Space, and Black Memory

Posted: February 2, 2016 in Black History Month, Black Lives Matter, Food For Thought, Welcome

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First off,

Thank You for clicking the link to visit my blog. More importantly, thank you for caring enough to join me on this journey of enlightenment on issues of race, gender, sexuality, and identity for Black History Month 2016: Black Lives, Black Space, and Black Memory.

Brief History:

Last year, I started a new personal tradition of a themed Black History Month to prevent random google searches on “notable Black people” because African-American history is deeper than Google analytics and top results. In 2015, I focused on Black Women in various forms of life: actors/actresses, teachers, athletes, authors, presidents, and much more. It is not because African American women are not excelling enough to be known, but that African American women are not appreciated enough by society when they do excel. I learned A LOT during this month, in addition to reading Johnnetta B. Cole’s, Conversations: Straight Talk with America’s Sister President   – this is a powerful book by the way. I shifted many of my views and became more cognizant of misogynistic, chauvinistic and patriarchal images and structures throughout society. With this open mind, I better understood the challenges of African American women globally, but there is so much more to learn in that arena.

During 2015, I was also redirecting my research interest into Anthropology, which is another reason I read Cole. However, I focused on contemporary Black Trauma and Memory throughout the United States. Studying memory in Eastern Europe was incredible. The appreciation of history, narratives, culture, and the formation of memory was off the charts. And the access to top scholars in this field made me a better thinker, researcher, and scholar in my field. I do not know if it was because I was in the CEU  bubble or that living in Hungry, a country with a relatively recent regime change, just created more awareness of how history is told and preserved. I wish all American scholars, historians, and museum curators could all take a few tips from Eastern European preservation and memory programs/projects.Essentially, I began to research Black Spaces: schools, churches, parks, community centers, homes, bodies, and other traditional Black spaces that are slowly disappearing from the American landscape in an in-depth manner. I study how we, Black people, remember those spaces, and the trauma that emerges as a result of a loss. My current focus is solely on rural Black schools. As a City Planner, in training and practice, I am enamored by buildings, spaces, and how people, mainly Black people, interact with those spaces. It’s a lot, and I won’t bore you.

If you have made it past my ‘short’ research overview, Thanks, Again!

So, in response to my new found “STAY WOKE-NESS,” I wanted to share my research, my experience, and my appreciation of these spaces for Black History Month. It is also  no coincidence that the national theme (which I didn’t know existed until last week) is, Hallowed Grounds: Sites of African American Memories virtually the same thing. So, I will have a bit of research assistance.

Okay, now that we understand the history, what’s this year about?

Black Lives, Black Space, and Black Memory.

I will explore Black Lives in traditionally White and Black spaces from a historical perspective. Moreover, I will explore preservation and memories of such moments. This process is not going to be easy. I have NEVER blogged for 29 days straights; I have never consistently written on topics in a nuanced manner for 29 days straight. I am sure a reminder and push will be needed here and there because LIFE happens, but I am going to do it.

I remain committed. I don’t know the order. I don’t know the focus for each day, but I do have a list of areas that I must discuss during this 29 day period that many of you, the community that reads my stuff, suggested.

So, Feb. 2, 2016, we will dive in HEAD FIRST.

Again, THANK YOU for reading. Writing is so personal for me. However, these past three years, I have been encouraged to do it more, and it’s so damn freeing.

Let’s CELEBRATE!

Submitted to the scholars,

In Leadership, Love, and Service

 

 

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