Heyyyy I’m still around, I swear! I’m sorry for my unexpected, unannounced month long hiatus. The latter part of May and all of June has been extremely crazy for me. In June alone I had 3 events I was planning, including an event for the Zinn Education Project’s Teach Truth Day of Action, where we went out to Rosewood FL and talked about the history of the town, institutional racism, systemic racism, and the ugly history of Florida around race. More about that in a minute! Then after the three events are over, I’m heading to Chicago for ALA Annual and then staying for a few days with my son for some family visiting time with our family that lives up there. Friday was actually my last day working in the office before my trip, so I’ve been scrambling to try and get everything done before I left. I got close enough anyway (there were….so many boxes of books. So. Many.).
The Rosewood event was really great, though a lot of work in a very short amount of time. It was June 10th, and part of a nationwide movement to #TeachTruth, with events all over the country on that day. I chose Rosewood because it’s an often-forgotten part of our local North Florida history, and it happened exactly 100 years ago this year. For those who don’t know, 100 years ago a mob of white residents from a nearby town attacked the predominantly-black town of Rosewood FL, which is near the gulf coast down the then-railroad tracks from Cedar Key, attempting to lynch a man that a white woman had accused of assaulting her and burning the town to the ground. Only one house was left standing, that of a white family who sheltered many black residents as they tried to escape the carnage. During the planning for this event, I got in touch with and persuaded to speak Ms. Lizzie Jenkins, founder of the Real Rosewood Foundation. She is the niece of Rosewood’s school-teacher and has been studying the events at Rosewood her whole life. She’s dedicated her life to speaking about that, and she agreed to give a talk. She even invited me on her podcast beforehand to talk about Rosewood and the event. I’ll be sharing a video as soon as it finally uploads to YouTube. It’s an hour long and several gigs so it’s…taking a while.
So, coming up ahead, I will be at ALA Annual! I have two events I’m the planner for (so many events this month 😭). I am also giving a poster presentation on the Sunday for my research into LGBTQ+ archives. So I will definitely be writing a conference report after that is over. I also started volunteering this weekend in the archives of the local history museum, the Matheson Museum and Archives. I’m really unbelievably excited about this, as I’m going to be working with a new (old?) collection from the local Pride center. So expect some upcoming posts about working in the archives!
That’s all for today, wish me luck at ALA!