1945 ~ The Progenitor
The sterilization of history has become more visible as we see the rise of a political movement which seeks to redefine our past for its own purposes. Black history and our country’s history of racism in particular are the most frequent targets of this sterilization. While we struggle to understand our countries true history, personal narrative is more important than ever.
In this book I retell the lived experience of my two African American grandparents. Born in 1945, their stories reflect the America that black and brown people live in everyday, the one that individuals privileged by their lineage are insulated from. These stories are funny, they are difficult, and more than anything they are culturally relevant for the moment we are living right now.
Through a series of interviews, archival images, and contemporary letters the book is able to represent these struggles in multiple modes. In response to this, and to provide the reader an affective experience, the book uses a combination of signature structure and contrasting paper stocks to represent the layering of different voices of history, fusing together to form a book that offers a personal context to the unrest that surrounds us in America right now.
My grandparents life story has inextricably changed my own life story and informed my world view even beyond the ways which were apparent to me before starting this project. By sharing these personal stories my hope is to connect people with a narrative other than their own, share perspective and give context to much of the unrest that surrounds race relations in America right now.