This last week students in both my public history classes discussed Michel-Rolph Trouillot's Silencing the Past: Power and the Production of History. Silencing the Past is one of my favorite history books, and an incredibly important discussion of how power shapes our understandings of history and how history produces and maintains power. Trouillot maintains that… Continue reading Unsilencing the Past
This is fourth in a series about the history of Avondale Estates, GA Ask people what the image of Avondale Estates is and you will get a lot of talk about a “tight-knit” community, rooted in old-fashioned traditions and local institutions that embody the shared values of family, community, and a sense of place. The… Continue reading To be or not to be Mayberry
This is third in a series of posts about the history of Avondale Estates. Avondale Estates was restricted to white-only residents (or at least homeowners) for much of its 20th century history. And today the city is still almost 80% white. Much of the recent diversification of Avondale’s population has come since 1998, as a… Continue reading “The Black Side of Town”: Challenging Avondale’s White-only Narrative
This is second in a series of posts about the history of Avondale Estates, Georgia. In my last post I mentioned that racism and white supremacy were baked into Avondale Estates’ identity at its origin. This was both a function of the founder and his times. Avondale Estates was founded in the mid 1920s by… Continue reading “The Right Kind of Neighbors”: Race and the Origins of Avondale Estates
It was a warm day in early September of 1998 as marchers gathered in front of City Hall in Avondale Estates, a small residential enclave outside Atlanta where I currently live. Many were carrying signs with slogans like “Reject Racism in Avondale Estates,” “N-word is an evil word,” and “Parker Must Go!” The reason for… Continue reading Seeing the signs in Avondale Estates, or, When the NAACP picketed my town
Next year's gig. A new project at GSU collaborating with the library to produce geoferenced maps of urban renewal in ATL. I'll be directing the oral history component. Library at Georgia State University Receives $210,000 NEH Grant | University Library Blog.
Murals are a powerful mode of communication in urban spaces, a vivid way of conveying important values and narratives in an immediate and visual way. And because they are located in and part of the existing urban landscape, they have a lot to say about place as well. grounded in the community, they create, reinforce… Continue reading Murals Reclaiming Space in Philadelphia’s Chinatown