Tag Archives: David Young

Interpreting African American History if You’re NOT African American

Session on Interpreting African American history and culture, AASLH annual meeting, 2012

Last September, I had the privilege of moderating a session on interpreting African American history at historic sites in a room filled with some of the smartest people in the field during the annual meeting of the American Association for State and Local History.  The panelists–George McDaniel, Pam Green, David Young, and Tanya Bowers–gave outstanding opening remarks but even more engaging was the discussion that followed with the audience.  Because African American history can be a sensitive topic and to demonstrate a way to confront these issues among a group of strangers, I used a technique drawn from Great Tours (page 117).  Each person in the audience was given a 3×5 card and was asked to anonymously complete the sentence, “I would feel more comfortable talking about African American culture and history if…”  Among the responses I received were: Continue reading