Revolutionary dreams erupt out of political engagement; collective social movements are incubators of new knowledge. Robin D.G. Kelly, Freedom Dreams: The Black Radical Imagination
This presentation traces the arc of Museums Respond to Ferguson and #BlkTwitterstorians–two born digital projects that emerged at the height of the Movement for Black Lives. The chats started with queries that then influenced deeper dialogue on how scholars and activists together could use history to inform a world specifically void of policing and incarceration. Both projects hinged on collective engagement with a few questions (and critiques) to incubate new ideas on how to present and preserve Black history with Black futures in mind. While both projects happened online, low-tech methodologies deeply informed project decisions. Phone calls, in-person meetings and printed chats played an important role in shaping the project. There was a heavy emphasis on the public, but the projects influenced the personal in ways that ultimately led to Museums Respond to Ferguson’s end and #BlkTwitterstorians refocus.