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About the Project

Based on Walis Johnson's artistic practice, students taking HIS 37 will look at New York's Black communities and their relationship to land, through four hundred years of American history. We will look at Lenape versus European concepts of land and power; historic communities such .as Land of the Blacks, the African Burial Ground, Seneca Village, Weeksville, San Juan Hill; and, topics such as redlining, urban renewal, and gentrification. Students will engage in weekly primary source analysis, and also complete three field trips (Black Citizenship exhibit at the New-York Historical Society, Weeksville Heritage Center in Brooklyn, and a walking tour of University Heights in the Bronx). The semester will culminate in Walis Johnson's installation of the Red Line Labyrinth, on BCC's historic Stanford White campus, and students will be asked to participate in the performance piece, and complete a written reflection on Walis Johnson's question ;'How might we begin to "re-map" or create a "new" geography and collective record of New York urban space that is inclusive and empowering for black people, communities of color, the working class and all New Yorkers?"

Co-sponsored by the James Gallery, the Teaching and Learning and Center, and the CUNY Humanities Alliance.