BLOGROLL: Roberts on Preservation and Social Justice| National Trust for Historic Preservation

Andrea Roberts, founder of the Texas Freedom Colonies Project and a scholar of heritage conservation and urban planning discusses historic preservation and social justice:

“Preservationists have argued for a shift toward a people-centered history. Even the National Trust for Historic Preservation has talked about inclusivity, about preservation’s role in telling the American story, about revitalizing depressed communities, and about recognizing places rather than just individual structures. I argue, however, that—while the turns in historic preservation practice and scholarship reflect a kind of progress, one in which certain professionals and academics demonstrate a willingness to take on issues like climate change and improving the quality of life in depressed areas—we remain challenged by the concept of social justice in preservation because social justice work asks something more of us. But what is the “more”? How does the practice of historic preservation become social justice practice?”

Read the rest:

The Texas Freedom Colonies Project
documents and preserves the history of former slaves who founded Freedom Colonies or Freedmen’s Towns across Texas.

“There are no comprehensive studies of threats to TXFC survival, documentation of Black Texans’ approaches to placemaking and problem solving, or an official atlas of settlements. The Texas Freedom Colonies Project is a research project dedicated to filling that gap.”

Jasper and Newton county Texas Freedom Colony homecoming presidents in Shankleville, Texas, in 2014. | Credit: Photo by Sarah Junek

Read more about the project:

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