Let Me Learn You Something!: Tools for Black Self-Determination in a Swampy School System
There are times when New Orleans feels like the epicenter of America. Maybe only proud residents and natives feel this way, but in the last ten years it has surely become the epicenter of educational debate. The same catalyst of such debates, Hurricane Katrina, has also ushered in a new world of urban development in the city. This work is centered at these two buzz topics—education and urban development—and seeks to draw connections between them, while positioning uncovered public histories as the primary tool through which New Orleans’ Black community may be self-determinate in these two fields. I present two tools, an adaptable timeline and a corresponding curriculum, and employ design to widen public discourse around education and urban planning. These tools are intended to support action and activism towards the righting of historic and presently persistent wrongs.