Making Space, Claiming Place: Reframing Black and Latinx Political Memories

AHA Session 239
Saturday, January 8, 2022: 3:30 PM-5:00 PM
Napoleon Ballroom C3 (Sheraton New Orleans, 3rd Floor)
Patty Arteaga, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution
Shakti Castro, Columbia University
Porsha Dossie, African American Civil Rights Network, National Park Service
Tiffany Jasmin Gonzalez, Texas A&M University
Courtney Joseph, Lake Forest College
Veronica Mendez Flores, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution
The Audience

Session Abstract

Making Space, Claiming Place: Reframing Black and Latinx Political Memories

In the 2015 preface to the third edition of This Bridge Called my Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color, Chicana feminist writer and activist Cherríe Moraga wrote:

I watch how desperately we need political memory, so that we are not always imaging ourselves the ever-inventors of our revolution; so that we are humbled by the valiant efforts of our foremothers; and so, with humility and a firm foothold in history, we can enter upon an informed and re-envisioned strategy for social/political change in decades ahead.

As Black, Indigenous, and people of color continue to bear the harshest effects of two interlinked pandemics, COVID-19 and racism, chronicling present community acts of resistance, solidarity, and resilience is imperative. The scholarship of Patty Arteaga, Shakti Castro, Porsha Dossie, Dr. Tiffany Gonzalez, Dr. Courtney Joseph, and Veronica Mendez is part of historical recovery work that reframes the intersecting histories of Black and Latinx unodcumented organizing, public health and criminal surveillance, civil rights movements, Chicanx activism and women’s political representation.

This lighting round session brings together public historians undertaking exciting new projects across spaces: in academia, museums, and the digital world. The aim of this lighting round is for panelists to share ongoing projects, reflect on the challenges and successes in developing collecting initiatives, exhibitions and digital projects, and engage in a discussion on the politics of solidarity building, the politics of memory, and the role of public historians in making history relevant and useful in the public sphere.

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