BrentLeggs is the executive director of the African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund. Envisioned as a social movement for justice, equity, and reconciliation, the Action Fund is promoting the role of cultural preservation in telling the nation’s full history, while also empowering activists, entrepreneurs, artists, and civic leaders to advocate on behalf of African American historic places.
This public lecture is taught in conjunction with a week long course in Historic Preservation
POWER & PRESERVATION
Adjunct Professor BrentLeggs, Columbia University
Course #: A6944
Call #: 12808
October 12, 13, 14, 19, 20, 21
Monday – Wednesday, 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.
As our nation comes to a reckoning with America’s racist and violent history and see long- simmering racial and ethnic tensions return to a boil, this intensity pervades every aspect of our politics, culture, society, and public spaces. This current conversation asks important questions.
What’s the role of contemporary preservation practice and historic African American sites in the fight for justice and equity? How should preservationists and activists reimagine practice through the lens of architecture and racial justice? This seminar will explore the role of cultural heritage sites that bring forward the African American narrative and how they serve a crucial role in redefining our collective history and, ultimately, reconstruct a national identity that reflects the country’s true diversity.
The students will be introduced to several ideas, case studies, and projects, including exploring the development and future vision of the African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund, a program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Each student will conduct limited research and examine a range of Black heritage sites, stories, and programs to reinforce the notion that preservation comes in many different forms and can be used as a tool to empower Black communities and all Americans. Each seminar day will start with an introduction followed by a discussion. Students are expected to share their perspectives on these topics and the assignment is a written final project.