Dr. Amanda Huron awarded grant from Humanities Council of Washington, DC (HumanitiesDC)
Dr. Amanda Huron, Associate Professor of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences awarded grant from Humanities Council of Washington, DC (HumanitiesDC) for project Black Land Loss in Washington: Memories of the Past, Hopes for the Future.
Professor Huron received a grant for $30,000 that will fund the project Black Land Loss in Washington: Memories of the Past, Hopes for the Future. The project is a partnership between UDC (specifically, the College of Arts and Science and the Institute for Politics Policy and History) and Historic Chevy Chase D.C. The grant comes through the Soul of the City program, a program of HumanitiesDC. It runs Sept. 2020-Sept. 2021.
In Black Land Loss in Washington: Memories of the Past, Hopes for the Future, a mixed group of young people from local high schools and the University of the District of Columbia will work together to investigate the meaning of land and home in the context of the history of Black land loss in Washington, D.C. Through conducting oral histories with the descendants of one prominent Black Washington family, the Pointers, that experienced land loss over multiple generations, we hope to gain a nuanced understanding of the meaning of home and land — and develop recommendations for ways to reckon with the history of Black land loss in Washington. This particular project will focus on the Chevy Chase D.C. neighborhood in Ward 3, and histories of Black land loss there. But we expect that, through our interviews, we will draw out stories of home, loss, and perseverance that are set in other District neighborhoods as well. Given the current national reckoning with the legacies of racism in the United States, we believe this project is especially timely and important. We believe that the students who participate in this project will, in connecting intimately with Pointer family descendants around deep questions, have a profound experience in historical inquiry — and that they will emerge from this project eager to learn more about their city’s past, and how that past shapes the present and future. And we believe the curriculum we develop for the project could be replicable in cities across the country, as people everywhere are trying to develop ways to recognize and reckon with the legacies of systemic racism, particularly as it has played out in access to land and housing.
“We are thrilled to be partnering with Historic Chevy Chase D.C. in this effort to reckon with the multi-generational impacts of the loss of Black-owned land in Washington. In the project, young people will conduct oral histories with descendants of one prominent Black Washington family whose land was taken by the city in order to build public schools for white children in the Chevy Chase D.C. neighborhood. Through their interviews, students will devise recommendations for how such generational loss could be redressed today. In a climate of ongoing racial injustice, we look forward to investigating some of the roots of this residential racial injustice in D.C., and thinking deeply about how this history can be reckoned with today.” Dr. Amanda Huron