Brown, Joshua K. (2022-04). Modified Heritage. Master's Thesis.
There are evidences of a rich history and heritage that centers around a once thriving African-American community in the late 1800's and the early 1900's. These thriving communities can also be called freedom colonies. These were post-emancipation settlements where African-Americans would intentionally begin to erect almost self-governing settlements with in-grown economics, education of the community, and a church that acted as an epicenter of refuge, initiative, and change. The project attempts to recognize these elements of empowerment within this context and zooms in even more so to the manifestation of black heritage in Washington County. How do we recognize the relationship between grounding the project in a particular vernacular context, yet instigate a slight deviance? How do we critically view the history of a black vernacular narrative arc both within Washington County and abroad, to both recognize it and modify it to contemporary interpretations? How do we negotiate how a project is fixed in time, yet understand the ascribed meanings and values may have changed, and will continue to change within the community? There are foundational truths to which this heritage has been built on with other layers of resilience following. This final study project provides a sketch to the possibilities of the intersection between a strong cultural discourse and the architectural environment. It attempts to delineate a past call, provide a present response, and initiate progress toward a modified future.