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History in Action: Black Arts Collective in the Land of Joaquin Murrieta

March 6, 2013

When James T Roane came to Columbia for his admit day visit, I said something like “this place kinda sucks, i aint gonna lie. But if you come here, we’re going to change that.” That was four years ago. And I still aint gonna lie. It aint perfect, but along with other students of color-Senia, Matt, Daniel, Jarvis, Kaveh, Melissa, and a ton of other folks-we’ve managed to carve a social and intellectual space for students of color. More importantly, we created an infrastructure that can account for gaps in activism and admission of students of color…

This coming Friday JT and Huewayne will be sharing from our latest collaboration, one that is particularly special to both of us. Not sure how it happened, but over the last four year, JT and I both began exploring the intersections of community building, art, and historical pedagogy. JT and Huewayne started doing art work out in Philly and Carribean and I did work in El Monte/South El Monte. This last Fall, they spent two weeks living with us, playing with Aura, meeting our families, and making art in South El Monte. As we constructed alternative historical narratives with South EL Monte High School Students, I reflected on our trajectory as historians. While we still have quite a bit of researching and writing, I think we’re closer to defining our role and responsibilities as historians of color.


Hope you can join JT and Huewayne this coming Friday, as they talk about their time and work in South El Monte and display some dope photographs of El Monte. Time: 6:15 Where: French House (in Front of Philosophy Hall), Columbia. Part of Columbia’s conference History in Action.

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