To Unpack...(And Utilize)

TO UNPACK...(AND UTILIZE)

I wrote in Harambee City that "my work resides within a sphere of highly politicized scholarship. Black and freedom movement studies arose from the tumultuous protests and conflicts of 1960s and 1970s street activism. The field aimed to give intellectual and academic credence to black lives, and in so doing unearth black silences. The process inevitably dragged many scholars into contentious debates in and out of the academy, as these social histories became inherently political, by nature or necessity. Undeniably, these books inhabit a philosophical and political reality that still remain part of the 1960s democracy wars. Harambee City does not exist in a social or political vacuum. Even as it displays and disseminates black history, it unpacks the structural nuances designed to keep African Americans at the economic bottom.

Although documents clearly point to the discrepancy between American democracy and black inequality, some of these materials are invariably dense. The public needs to comprehend these documents in order to critically understand the current status of African Americans in the United States. Thus, the website had to be more than a digital archive. Harambee City website facilitates added learning via teacher suggestions, links to other CORE related history, and mapping programs that diagram economic and social inequality into a visual narrative that most people can easily interpret.

Hough Education Levels 1950 and 1960

Social Explorer is a user friendly mapping program, easily adopted for individual projects, that powerfully retells history via space analysis obtained through census data.

 

The lessons simplify complicated subject matter through interactive projects and questions. These activities take students through the complex processes involved in decision making and strategy during the freedom movement. Students should be able to correlate racial and income disparity via geo-spatial analysis, evaluate primary sources, scrutinize abstract representations, and formulate an interpretative framework for understanding rhetoric or images from the black power period. Lesson plans will also help participants listen and engage generational, gendered, and/or racial life experiences that reveal diverse perspectives about American History. Learning outcomes include: critical thinking, observation, empathy, analysis, and tactical assessment.

As such, Harambee City is an apparatus for historical production and an application tool. It is designed to help viewers use the information and digital platforms as a prototype for discerning the levers of power and thinking about civic engagement, freedom struggle, and economic development.