Professor Melina Patterson’s course blog for Geography 331, “Race and Place in America,” has framed and examined some really fascinating issues in contemporary culture over the past 15 weeks. In particular, the course has traced the intersection of issues of race, urban development, and gentrification.
Earlier this semester the students watched and discussed a 2003 documentary titled Flag Wars, which chronicles the gentrification of an historically black neighborhood in Columbus, Ohio by and influx of Gay and Lesbian residents. It sounds fascinating to me, and I am dying to see it—nothing like the power of being open to get a good movie recommendation!
And more recently a student in the course, Wesley Weeks, included a series of images of the statues on Monument Avenue in Richmond, VA, which provides a complex and powerful juxtaposition of race and place more locally. Click on the image of Arthur Ashe above to view these images.
It’s amazing to watch a class unfold that is so squarely situated within the issues and questions that define the cultural and geographic space within which we live.