Monday, October 8, 2007

Douglas Truth

Our next mural meeting will take place on Oct 16 at 6pm in the Douglas Truth Library.

I found this interesting historical account of the way that the library has changed over the years. It talks about the waves of Jewish, Japanese and African American patronage. You will also find images of Eddie's murals with this story here.

The article brings up an interesting point about integration vs. identity, which seems to be an old debate and something that I have been thinking about with respect to our mural. Several issues are involved:

1. The history of the Colman/Judkins neighborhood is a multi-ethnic and multi-cultural history.

2. Since the end of WWII this neighborhood has had a strong African American identity and since the 70s, it has been predominantly African American.

3. The mural will go on the wall in front of the African American museum.

Question: what is the best way to represent the history of the neighborhood and at the same time to respect the African American identity of the museum?

Just thought I'd throw this out for input. You can leave comments at the bottom of this post by clicking on the "comments" link.

1 comment:

Richard Wells said...

...and then it seems that somewhere in the 90's the demographic shifted to include a younger, middle-class Caucasian population, and in the 2000's is shifting yet again opening the gates to Hispanic, and Ethiopian arrivals - especially from the Ethiopian Orthodox Christian community. It seems to me that Colman/Judkins has been extraordinarily fluid as a community and I don't believe any narrow focus would do us justice. I'm not a rabid flag-waver, but one thing our country has done right is reflected in our community - we are the most ethnically diverse nation in the world, and Colman/Judkins gives witness. My vote is for celebrating our truly incredible inclusivity and diversity.

The library's records reflect the Cental District at large, not just one neighborhood, and it's interesting to note the Italian Renaissance architecture, and the name change from Mr. Yesler, to Mr. Douglas, and Ms. Truth.

I also think the point of location was to have the African American Museum somewhere in the CD, and the use of the old school property is a product of opportunity more than exact neighborhood siting. The wall is behind the African American museum, and is not really a part of the museum proper, and therefore is owned by the neighborhood at large.

Again, my vote is for celebrating the enlightened inclusivity of those who have stuck it out through the changes, and our resultant diversity.