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PY-263663-19

University of the South (Sewanee, TN 37383-2000)
William Woody Register (Project Director: May 2018 to present)
Restore, Remember and Rebuild the St. Mark’s Community

Two “History Matters” events aimed at recovering, preserving, and making public the contributions of St. Mark’s, a historically African American community in Sewanee, Tennessee, changed and dispersed by racial integration.  In addition to digitizing photographs, family Bibles, oral histories, and other items from this under-represented community, proposed events would include presentations by experts in African American history and the Community Driven Archives Team at the University of North Carolina’s Southern Historical Collection.  Collected images and voice recordings would be made available to the public in an online exhibit managed by Sewanee’s Project on Slavery, Race, and Reconciliation.

The University of the South will work with an African American community radically transformed during the racial integration of the 1960s, when loss of public institutions and lack of opportunity led to a diaspora. We will host community events inviting remaining residents and former residents to bring evidence of personal history (Bibles, photos and other objects) to be scanned and photographed using the “post-custodial model” of data collection. We will have oral history stations and will engage in community mapping to locate abandoned home sites using LiDAR images. Programming includes presentations on similar projects organized by the Community-Driven Archives Team of the University of North Carolina Southern Historical Collection and a “Places Project” conducted by a Mellon post-doctoral fellow. Central to the project is an online exhibit created to restore memory of the community and raising public acknowledgement of African Americans’ work to build it and the University.

Project fields:
African American History; Rural Studies; U.S. History

Program:
Common Heritage

Division:
Preservation and Access

Totals:
$12,000 (approved)
$12,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2019 – 6/30/2020