Ghosts of Segregation
All human landscape has cultural meaning. Because we rarely consider our constructions as evidence of our priorities, beliefs and desires, the testimony our landscape tells is perhaps more honest than anything we might intentionally present. Our built environment is society's autobiography writ large.
Ghosts of Segregation photographically explores the vestiges of America's racism as seen in the vernacular landscape: Schools for "colored" children, theatre entrances and restrooms for "colored people," lynching sites, juke joints, jails, hotels and bus stations. What is past is prologue.
We often take our daily environments for granted, but within even the most mundane edifice may lurk an important bit of history. If we are curious and diligent, we can read our surroundings like a book. That stairway apparently to nowhere once went somewhere. The curious palimpsest of bricks covers something. What purpose did they serve?
While most of the images currently in this project are focused on the Deep South, prejudice has no geographic boundaries; I have all of America to explore. These troubling spectres are as alive today as they ever were; often cloaked in different manner, but as much current events as history. The ghosts of segregation haunt us.
To learn more about the history behind these pictures, view or download the 55-page Ghosts of Segregation PDF