A Quest for a Continuing Revolution

On March 3rd, 2022 Amber delivered the fourth lecture in the Sciame Lecture Series: Radical Black Space at the Bernard and Anne Spitzer School of Architecture, City College of New York. Her talk, “A Quest for a Continuing Revolution: Black Heritage and the 1976 Bicentennial,” focused on the research she is currently conducting as an Mellon Urban Landscape Fellow at Dumbarton Oaks, as well as the National Historic Landmark nomination update she completed for the Carter G. Woodson National Historic Site. She examined the legacy and impact of the Afro-American Bicentennial Corporation (ABC), illustrating how the ABC set the precedent for a more nuanced understanding of the American past by expanding the National Park Service’s inclusion of Black historic landmarks twentyfold, including the Woodson site.

The Radial Black Space series brings together architects, preservationists, planners, artists, and historians of color at a precipitous moment. The Movement for Black Lives demands that Americans from all walks of life confront racism and its sordid impact on constructed environments, and understand the rich, vital tradition of Black resistance, innovation, and creativity. Speakers will touch on many questions: How do the places and things made by African Americans disrupt the racial status quo in the United States? How is difference celebrated? How is equity imagined and achieved? What constitutes anti-racist spatial practice? Radical Black Space shows that the Black radical tradition is alive in art and architecture, and that having a handle on Black history is essential to understanding the present and shaping the future. Join us to find revolution in the everyday and to recognize the extraordinary places and objects that Black Americans make and the stories they tell about themselves. Radical Black Space is convened by Marta Gutman and Jerome Haferd.