Dumbarton Oaks Mellon Fellow

Amber was recently named a 2021-2022 Dumbarton Oaks Mellon Fellow in Urban Landscape Studies.

Garden and Landscape Studies at Dumbarton Oaks received a major award from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to create the interdisciplinary program in urban landscape studies.

Dumbarton Oaks, affiliated with the Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences, is one of the few institutions in the world with a program devoted to garden and landscape studies. The Mellon Fellowships are intended to expand significantly the opportunities offered by the institution to study the history and future of urban landscapes through the lenses of democracy, race, identity, and difference.

Amber’s project, “‘The Revolution Continues’: The Legacy of the Black Heritage Movement” re-examines the legacy of the 1976 Bicentennial through the work of the Afro-American Bicentennial Corporation (ABC) in Washington, DC. It illustrates how the ABC set the precedent for a more nuanced understanding of the American past, expanding the National Park Service’s inclusion of Black historic landmarks twenty-fold. The final project will be a monograph detailing the long-time collaboration between the organization and the National Park Service, which continued when the ABC re-organized as the Afro-American Institute for Historic Preservation and Community Development. The book will tell the story of the broadening of historic preservation field in the Bicentennial area, and document the history and condition of the initial Black national historic landmarks that were nominated by ABC. Finally it will connect with continuing struggles to contextualize and include Black landmarks within current preservation practice.