As I reflect upon my time building the tour, I am awed by the lengthy strides we’ve made as a group, from the nascent stages until its unveiling. Just as recently as my last blog post, I was lamenting the collective complications we faced in researching, due to what we felt was the somewhat obstructive disposition of some members of faculty and administration. Fast forward a month or so, and I’m praising our impressive discoveries and terrific presentations. But it’s the growth that occurred in that “flash” that truly brings me joy.
It was the impassioned in-class exchanges that resulted in shared approaches, and the in-depth conversations during Thursday group meetings that gave our mission purpose. Frustrations from lack of transparency and evidence of residual discrimination, nor fears of a still incomplete narrative could undo us.We kept digging until we saw some beams of luminescence that would help us put the past in perspective, reveal the realities of the present, and highlight the bright prospects of the future. We were bringing forth The BlacKeaning – the perpetual act of bringing Black to the forefront of the institutional map.
The construction of this tour was very much an exercise in seeing projects through and building upon the ideas which one feels are most intriguing. It turned out to be more than just a class, but rather a course in the truest sense – a path to a meaningful and substantive end. That end is enlightenment, and that substance is solidarity. The relation I have to my professor and classmates is real. The respect I have for this tour is real. Most of all the reverence I have for those who came before me in this struggle is real. We are connected by The BlacKeaning experience and we represent it well. Let it begin!