Black People : Urban Decay in Black America

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IFE

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Jan 20, 2015
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First I want to thank you for taking the time to reply to my post, before I address some of the things you said, although I'm not sure if you read everything.

My thesis is not focused on seeing Black Americans as victims or focusing on the negative things related to the Black community. My focus is actually surrounded in the fact that despite efforts, success, and accomplishments Black people are constantly underrepresented and misrepresented. I even addressed that as one of the problems in one of the first things I said - "often portrayed as victims rather than as agents, leaders, and creators."

Secondly, I love being Black. And its a well-known fact that just because I, or any of my fellow brothers and sisters in color are proud of who we are, our history, all that we've persevered, it doesn't mean the rest of world is. People who aren't Black in America - and the rest of the world in general - are incredibly uneducated about Black history, and the Black community as a whole outside of knowing slavery happened. I can't solve the issues that plague the Black community, or completely educate the rest of the world, but I can open up a way for dialogue and community engagement through things I design.

I love being Black, but I am fully aware that most of the world does not feel the way I do. People view Black communities as disparaged and with little value. The whole point of my thesis is to speak to that perception and often misconception of value. Whereas the furniture I'm making will become a visual metaphor. I personally don't believe we should solely talk about the success and the positive without drawing back on the history of negativity - it's because of that negativity that we propel ourselves forward.

I'm attempting to elevate the representation of the Black community (to essentially simplify my goal).

In regards to the questions, its meant to dig into personal experiences. If you don't have any, then you're fortunate in a sense. The type of feedback I'm requesting isn't seen on the media - also, a bit of my point. When you turn on the news, do you see stories of Black accomplishments outside of sports, music, or tv industry? I sure don't. Although there are more and more people trying to shed light on positives, it's not the level it should be.

People like to believe there has been some great progression for acceptance, acknowledgement, representation, and so many of other things in regards to Black people - when there hasn't been. I personally feel it every single day.

I’ve had several racial situations to deal with.

I have to say we the majority of Black people are not trying to be accepted by white people.
I’m very protective of my People.
No offense intended, but your thesis has been written over and over again by Black and white authors.
If all you’re looking for are negatives to write about the Blacks, you might not get much help on this board. More focused on progress, not looking backwards.
As James asked, who is your target audience.

@ this:
People like to believe there has been some great progression for acceptance, acknowledgement, representation, and so many of other things in regards to Black people - when there hasn't been. I personally feel it every single day.[/QUOTE]

We not looking for anything from white people. I know there has been progress. You should have seen how things were before we made the progress we have now.

In high school, back in the day, we were assigned to read books like Native Son, and Black Boy by Richard Wright. Many great writers going deep into the heart of the Black Community you describe.
You’re not going to get what you’re looking for on Destee. You have to do the work. Read some Richard Wright, Maya Angelo, Langston Hughes.
You have to do the work yourself.
Richard Wright will take you to what you’re looking for.
Have you read Native Son?
These new generations are trying to Move forward before they know where they come from. The only way to know for yourself is thru reading.

Good luck with your thesis and furniture, seriously. Just know the topic you’ve chosen has been written several times already.

What does furniture have to do with Black People and your thesis.


Always be moving forward.
 

Christi

New Member
REGISTERED MEMBER
Mar 22, 2018
3
2
I’ve had several racial situations to deal with.

I have to say we the majority of Black people are not trying to be accepted by white people.
I’m very protective of my People.
No offense intended, but your thesis has been written over and over again by Black and white authors.
If all you’re looking for are negatives to write about the Blacks, you might not get much help on this board. More focused on progress, not looking backwards.
As James asked, who is your target audience.

@ this:
People like to believe there has been some great progression for acceptance, acknowledgement, representation, and so many of other things in regards to Black people - when there hasn't been. I personally feel it every single day.

We not looking for anything from white people. I know there has been progress. You should have seen how things were before we made the progress we have now.

In high school, back in the day, we were assigned to read books like Native Son, and Black Boy by Richard Wright. Many great writers going deep into the heart of the Black Community you describe.
You’re not going to get what you’re looking for on Destee. You have to do the work. Read some Richard Wright, Maya Angelo, Langston Hughes.
You have to do the work yourself.
Richard Wright will take you to what you’re looking for.
Have you read Native Son?
These new generations are trying to Move forward before they know where they come from. The only way to know for yourself is thru reading.

Good luck with your thesis and furniture, seriously. Just know the topic you’ve chosen has been written several times already.

What does furniture have to do with Black People and your thesis.


Always be moving forward.[/QUOTE]

I'm not sure how asking to hear about personal stories, in a present context is looking for "negatives to write about about blacks" - in fact I haven't gotten a single negative response. I don't even think our history is negative. It's about triumph over tribulation on our end.

So the correlation between black people, furniture and my thesis:

Because I’m a design student, my thesis is not presented in a typical fashion. So rather than having a 50 page dissertation, I present designed and finished objects (although I do also have a separate written part). The objects I happen to be designing and making are furniture – to sort of frame the context.

The furniture is built upon the basis of urban decay in correlation to Black communities. So I guess the best way to paint a picture is to think of it as a visual metaphor. Or even like an art installation except I’m making functional furniture pieces.

Part of this is that issues that plague the black community and their origins are never discussed in the design world. Things like gentrification, housing discrimination, inner-city poverty, wealth disparities, etc. Black people are the strongest, most resilient of people - and this is seen practically nowhere in product design specifically.

I’m focusing on particular areas where decay, destruction, and transformation have occurred and is visibly present. So thinking about places like Seneca village, weeksville, sandy ground, five points, harlem, etc. And the things that defined those areas was the community, Black communities that have and are literally being destroyed. Like the city using eminent domain to build parts of central park which desiccated Seneca village. The materials I’m using (demolition and construction materials taken from demolished and abandoned lots) speak both to the destruction of these communities and the history of perseverance to strive, overcome and come together in face of that destruction. By presenting those materials in an abstract unified context of street furniture I’m seeking to elevate the perception and representation of a community through the pieces of furniture I make. It’s very much a symbolic a representational thing that is also very much rooted in the present. I can’t design for the past, hence the desire for outreach. Which I’ve been doing within the areas I live, but not so much within places outside of where I live, and I think its important because everyone's experience is different. Which was the intent of this - hearing those different experiences. Reading is great research material obviously, but not so much in regards to user feedback.

I’m not focusing on trying make Black people be accepted by white people or anyone really, I’m just trying to share a bit of our history. I have the opportunity to present

I don’t know if that made it more clear or just turned everything into a convoluted mess.

As I was writing all of this I thought of something that speaks to what I'm attempting to do.

Have you heard you of the African Burial ground national monument?
"For a century, from the 1690s to the 1790s, a small plot of land in Lower Manhattan became the final resting place for over 15,000 free and enslaved Africans. The burial ground was then lost under years of urban development and landfill, until workers rediscovered the burial ground in 1991 during an excavation of the land for a Federal Government office building. Excavations at the site revealed the remains of 419 Africans and over 500 individual artifacts. Considered one of the most important archaeological finds of the 20th century, the African Burial Ground is of national significance because of what it can tell us about the lives of Africans and African Americans in an urban context. Both the deceased and their possessions help piece together a more complete history of New York City in the 17th and 18th centuries and what life was like for Africans in the city." - taken from its description.

What I'm making isn't a monument per say - but it's symbolic in the same way.
 

IFE

Well-Known Member
REGISTERED MEMBER
Jan 20, 2015
3,041
503
We not looking for anything from white people. I know there has been progress. You should have seen how things were before we made the progress we have now.

In high school, back in the day, we were assigned to read books like Native Son, and Black Boy by Richard Wright. Many great writers going deep into the heart of the Black Community you describe.
You’re not going to get what you’re looking for on Destee. You have to do the work. Read some Richard Wright, Maya Angelo, Langston Hughes.
You have to do the work yourself.
Richard Wright will take you to what you’re looking for.
Have you read Native Son?
These new generations are trying to Move forward before they know where they come from. The only way to know for yourself is thru reading.

Good luck with your thesis and furniture, seriously. Just know the topic you’ve chosen has been written several times already.

What does furniture have to do with Black People and your thesis.


Always be moving forward.

I'm not sure how asking to hear about personal stories, in a present context is looking for "negatives to write about about blacks" - in fact I haven't gotten a single negative response. I don't even think our history is negative. It's about triumph over tribulation on our end.

So the correlation between black people, furniture and my thesis:

Because I’m a design student, my thesis is not presented in a typical fashion. So rather than having a 50 page dissertation, I present designed and finished objects (although I do also have a separate written part). The objects I happen to be designing and making are furniture – to sort of frame the context.

The furniture is built upon the basis of urban decay in correlation to Black communities. So I guess the best way to paint a picture is to think of it as a visual metaphor. Or even like an art installation except I’m making functional furniture pieces.

Part of this is that issues that plague the black community and their origins are never discussed in the design world. Things like gentrification, housing discrimination, inner-city poverty, wealth disparities, etc. Black people are the strongest, most resilient of people - and this is seen practically nowhere in product design specifically.

I’m focusing on particular areas where decay, destruction, and transformation have occurred and is visibly present. So thinking about places like Seneca village, weeksville, sandy ground, five points, harlem, etc. And the things that defined those areas was the community, Black communities that have and are literally being destroyed. Like the city using eminent domain to build parts of central park which desiccated Seneca village. The materials I’m using (demolition and construction materials taken from demolished and abandoned lots) speak both to the destruction of these communities and the history of perseverance to strive, overcome and come together in face of that destruction. By presenting those materials in an abstract unified context of street furniture I’m seeking to elevate the perception and representation of a community through the pieces of furniture I make. It’s very much a symbolic a representational thing that is also very much rooted in the present. I can’t design for the past, hence the desire for outreach. Which I’ve been doing within the areas I live, but not so much within places outside of where I live, and I think its important because everyone's experience is different. Which was the intent of this - hearing those different experiences. Reading is great research material obviously, but not so much in regards to user feedback.

I’m not focusing on trying make Black people be accepted by white people or anyone really, I’m just trying to share a bit of our history. I have the opportunity to present

I don’t know if that made it more clear or just turned everything into a convoluted mess.

As I was writing all of this I thought of something that speaks to what I'm attempting to do.

Have you heard you of the African Burial ground national monument?
"For a century, from the 1690s to the 1790s, a small plot of land in Lower Manhattan became the final resting place for over 15,000 free and enslaved Africans. The burial ground was then lost under years of urban development and landfill, until workers rediscovered the burial ground in 1991 during an excavation of the land for a Federal Government office building. Excavations at the site revealed the remains of 419 Africans and over 500 individual artifacts. Considered one of the most important archaeological finds of the 20th century, the African Burial Ground is of national significance because of what it can tell us about the lives of Africans and African Americans in an urban context. Both the deceased and their possessions help piece together a more complete history of New York City in the 17th and 18th centuries and what life was like for Africans in the city." - taken from its description.

What I'm making isn't a monument per say - but it's symbolic in the same way.[/QUOTE]

I’m glad you responded back. I was hoping I hadnt offended you.

My story is that of a Black mother and grandmother who is passionate about educating our youth. Passionate about our youth learning Black History.

I reread your post 3 times, looking for something related to Black History.
Didn’t find anything history related. Read 1 more time.
Your focus seem to be on present day Black stories/History.

Good luck on your thesis and furniture.

Yes I’ve heard of the African Burial Ground.
I live in Georgia. There are too many lost and found slave burial sites.


Good luck, again on your thesis. You may want to look at some of the topics/threads on Destee. You may find some of what you’re looking for

There are also a couple authors on the site.


Black people are responsible far inventing many products. Ima list just one:

Black furniture makers left legacy of craftsmanship - tribunedigital ...
http://articles.baltimoresun.com/19...e-makers-furniture-began-furniture-collection - 96k - Cached - Similar pages
raf

  1. the shadow of Buckhead luxury sits a slave cemetery, in ruins
    https://www.myajc.com/news/news/local/in-the-shadow-of-luxury-a-slave-cemetery-in-ruins/nms9n/ - 167k - Cached - Similar pages

  2. Gone and almost forgotten -- slave graves along I-75 - AJC.com
    https://www.ajc.com/news/local/gone-and-almost-forgotten-slave-graves-along/KVbIDEC86ZLcff8iJrOVLN/ - 394k - Cached - Similar pages

  3. Cemetery for former slaves goes unnoticed among Buckhead homes
    https://www.ajc.com/news/local/cem 390k - Cached - Similar pages


  4. identification of unmarked graves at two historic cemeteries in georgia

    https://www.valdosta.edu/~dmthieme/Cemeteries/Thieme_2013_EarlyGeorgia.pdf - - Cached -


  5. Black history dies in neglected Southern cemeteries - USA Today
    https://www.usatoday.com/story/news...-history-dies-in-southern-cemeteries/1877687/ - 333k - Cached - Similar pages

ALWAYS BE MOVING FORWARD
 

umbrarchist

Well-Known Member
REGISTERED MEMBER
Jun 13, 2007
677
202
I really want to involve the community as much as possible. So, this discussion is hopefully another route to that. So my questions for you are:

What is your story?
What is it like to be a black person in America, or wherever you are personally?
What are things you think represent the black community?

Oh no! Another 10,000 word essay?

Once upon a time my mother taught me to read when I was 3 years old. I do not really remember that but I recall sitting on the floor reading Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer. I think I was 4. But I do not recall my mother ever suggesting anything to read once I knew how. In retrospect that seems very strange. When I started reading science fiction books after I stumbled across them in 4th grade she would call them "Something Crazy!" That really pissed me off. This was in the 60 when the melanin-deprived people were still trying to get to the Moon.

Now we have computers everywhere and most high school teachers I have asked do not even know about Project Gutenberg. This was the first SF book I ever read:

Star Surgeon (1959) by Alan E. Nourse
http://www.gutenberg.org/files/18492/18492-h/18492-h.htm
http://librivox.org/star-surgeon-by-alan-edward-nourse/
http://www.sffaudio.com/?p=1299
http://boards.medscape.com/forums/?128@@.2a7af8a4!comment=1

Because of SF I decided I wanted to be an engineer before I graduated from grade school. None of the nitwit nuns at my school ever mentioned the concept. We had/have the problem of minds being blinkered before high school.

Afro-futurism without realistic science and technology has no futurism.

Now the technology exists to much more easily short-circuit paleface controlled education but who is going to seize it?

https://doc.lagout.org/electronics/...and Electronics,4th Edition - (Malestrom).pdf

If you live in a neighborhood where othere kids give you a hard time for reading a book then what is likely to happen?
 

Bboanerge

Member
BANNED
Apr 18, 2018
15
4
I'm taking materials - the debris, the rubble, the trash, the things that have been torn down - and change them into something of value. My goal is to design an object (street furniture) that aggrandizes that changing dynamic of being a black person in an urban environment. Rethinking the way we see and perceive value in a decaying, disadvantaged area to show that there is beauty in the suffered damaged and history, that there is legitimacy, and that they hold validity. In order to bring awareness of the socioeconomic deprivation and by elevating materials in turn elevate the representation of a community.

The street furniture I hope to make is essentially is a social commentary on the perception of value and understanding in regards to Black America.

This is an intrepid idea! I'm interested in knowing your equity-frontier for this? In what ways do you anticipate this benefitting Black people? In terms of any tangible or viable progress which Blacks don't currently get to experience as that progress is surely enjoyed by non-Black citizens.
 
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