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Statement of Principles

Contemporary Monuments to the Slave Past Project Principles
  • We are dedicated to using our digital platform to highlight the ways in which diverse communities and artists are in conversation about the difficult histories and legacies of slavery and about how to best memorialize slavery in monumental form. Community engagement and dialogic processes are at the core of our research and our project practices.

  • We assert the importance of multi-perspectival and nuanced stories about the history of slavery and its memorialization in objects. We understand ourselves to be part of a movement of activists, community leaders, educators, scholars, and students who are challenging the inherited history of slavery. This legacy not only minimizes African Americans’ and especially black women’s vital leadership and contributions to their own emancipatory project but ignores the profound and deeply embedded legacy of slavery and white supremacy in our institutions, cultures, and values.

  • We center both anti-racism and feminism in our efforts to chronicle fully and forthrightly our nation’s past and present, and the on-going struggle for racial justice.

  • We are committed to a black digital practice that “resists and counteracts slavery’s dehumanizing impulse.” Contemporary Monuments to the Slave Past is characterized by its efforts to foreground stories of slavery and monument building in order to highlight “the full humanity of the marginalized through the use of digital platforms and tools.” Our work is a deliberate intervention into the exclusionary spaces of the digital humanities.

Acknowledgment of Principles

Our principles are inspired by the black digital humanities work of Dr. P. Gabrielle Foreman and her collaborators on the Colored Conventions: Bringing Nineteenth-Century Black Organizing to Digital Life. Forman’s award-winning digital project has served as an important model for us. In turn, the Colored Convention Project Principles were inspired by the Jemez Principles for Democratic Organizing created at the Working Group Meeting on Globalization and Trade in Jemez, New Mexico, on December 8, 1996.