african americans · migration

tell the story

“tell the story” – Art Blakey

As I return to my research on the Florida peninsula with my hometown Miami in view and my recent visit to Iceland in view, I am reminded of how I can’t do what I do without the help of many, in this case, the participants in my initial research.

S Green in Blonduos where Textile Center is located.JPG
In Iceland, I used distance to reflect on race and space as did author James Baldwin in visits to Europe years ago.

What I ended up with was a tapestry of voices, the eldest in her 90s, who reflected on their migrations, or their families’ migrations, to, through and away from Miami, Florida.

I will address such migrations alongside the encounters of oppressed groups with the dominant culture between the first half of the nineteenth century as seen in in the Seminoles’ encounters with the U.S. military through the 1980s as seen in the rise of the University of Miami football program.

I will discuss such conflict in a paper to be presented at the Gulf South history meeting in Pensacola in early October.

Meanwhile, I will also discuss the experiences of freed people as they attempted to be educated outside slave territory at the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) meeting in Cincinnati this Friday. Busy time. But I am grateful.

Because of so many, I can do the things I do. In the above clip, the voice of my grandmother, a former sharecropper in Mississippi, is heard. I look to the memory of so much she shared to get through these interesting times in and outside the classroom.

And while I do, I’ll be telling the story like Art Blakey who did so on the drums. Listen to him and trumpeter Lee Morgan below.

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