July Member Spotlight: University of Florida
By Imagining America | July 30, 2019
The July member spotlight features the University of Northern Iowa. Discover the fantastic work at the University of Florida!
Project Highlight: From Colored to Black
Scholars in African American Studies have been exploring the ways in which Black identity today is interwoven with intergenerational stress and prejudice. By examining the cultural tropes that shape our identities, the humanities create spaces for communities to talk about concerns in their lives and articulate resilience. But, these important conversations are not often found where they are needed the most: in young audiences.
From Colored to Black is an original multi-media play that sits at the intersection of oral history performance, participatory action research, community arts activism, and health education. The play is a platform to connect youth to Florida’s Black history and expose the origins and mechanisms of systemic racism in America. This content is delivered through an entertaining and non-confrontational lens designed to educate youth of all races and provoke critical dialogue. The play features a Black family who gather for a backyard BBQ to talk about the issues facing Blacks today. Weaving filmed oral histories with the dialogue at the BBQ, the play reveals the untold history of:
- the St. Augustine Civil Rights Movement,
- women’s roles in the Movement,
- developing the first beach for Blacks in Florida,
- the Rosewood Massacre and resettlement of Rosewood, and
- the lasting effects of integration on Black education.
This history provides the platform to discuss:
- the legacy of redlining,
- the portrayal of Blackness in the media,
- the barriers to Black prosperity,
- intergenerational stress and trauma, and
- racist public policies on education and health.
Developed in 2018/19, this project is led by Jeffrey Pufahl, a publically engaged scholar and theater/filmmaker. The play was written in collaboration with emerging African American playwright Ms. Brittney M. Caldwell and had its pilot performances March 15-17/19 (263 attended).
We are currently developing a web-based, modular companion course which will include complimentary educational materials including full oral history transcripts, supplemental history, and reflective activities. This course will provide the space for students to deepen their experience of the humanities content and can be administered in the classroom.