I repped hard for Wide-Awake yesterday at Save Your Spaces Festival, talking about Lane Street Project and the challenges and rewards of African-American cemetery preservation, as well as learning about amazing local projects here in Atlanta from public historians, artists, preservationists, and others of my new “tribe.”
Shouts out to moderator Dr. Shari L. Williams, who spearheads Macon County, Alabama’s The Ridge Archaeological Project, and co-panelist Debra Taylor Gonzalez of Friends of Geer Cemetery, which offers a model for how Lane Street Project might grow and what we might achieve.
Deep appreciation to the visionary Nedra Deadwyler, founder of Civil Bikes and Save Your Spaces, for pulling me into this conversation with gentle prods and encouragement over the past year or so. My acute awareness that I am neither a public historian nor preservationist by training has had me hiding my light, but this experience reassured me of the value I bring to the work. I’ll move forward with a steadier voice and better tools to help save the historic spaces that mean most to me.