Re/Member Black Philadelphia is a multimodal digital scholarship and community archiving project, which investigates the increasingly endangered contexts of Black social and cultural life against the backdrop of this systematic displacement. First and foremost, this project is an act of love for Black Philadelphia and of resistance to the erasure of Black communities in Philadelphia, as in many parts of the world. First conceptualized in 2014, Re/Member Black Philadelphia utilizes digital media and technology to document and celebrate the rich experiences, institutions, spaces, and cultures of Black people in the city.
“Black Philadelphia,” as conceived in this work, represents a racial-spatial-imaginative construct that indexes the memories, diverse histories, and lived experiences of the communities that comprise the city’s Black, or African diasporic population. In the spirit of W.E.B. Du Bois’ The Philadelphia Negro, which sought to document the “real condition” of the city’s Black population at the turn of the 20th century, Re/Member Black Philadelphia investigates the precarious contemporary conditions of Black Philly amid changing socioeconomic demographics and the systemic displacement of longtime Black residents.
Re/Member Black Philadelphia demonstrates how the tools of the digital and spatial humanities, qualitative research, and media studies can help us more fully understand and teach the lived realities of marginalized populations and spaces. Utilizing interdisciplinary methods, including ethnographic and oral history techniques, geospatial mapping, filmmaking, and archiving, this work endeavors to make community perspectives and materials both visible and accessible by establishing a collaborative research practice and accompanying digital platform that fosters community narrative-making and preservation for historic posterity
Re/Member Black Philadelphia is a multimodal platform that utilizes digital media and technology to document and celebrate the rich experiences, institutions, spaces, and cultures of Black people in the city.