Hello???? Anyone still out there????
I can just hear everyone saying "Where have you been? You haven't posted anything in almost three months!!!!!"
Just as Dr. Gaither was getting into the idea of posting and I had started up weekly postings, we dropped the ball and stopped. With this posting I offer a mea culpa and a few exciting explanations.
So that is Dr. Gaither's excuse for not blogging. It is a partial excuse on my part as well since I have spent many a day and night helping to work on the quilt. I slowed down my involvement on that somewhat after Dr. Gaither threatened to "get me" multiple times after I went through her multiple lists of people, places, and organizations that needed to be added to the quilt and found several omissions. Lets just say for one of the lists, the number was in the triple digits! I will fill you in on that once I can post pictures.
As for the rest of my excuses (and a little self promotion) I have been taking up the community involvement aspect of Dr. Gaither's work and applying it to my own. I just completed the second phase of a great project called Music to Our Ears: The Sounds of the African American Experience at Carr's and Sparrow's Beaches. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Carr's and Sparrow's Beaches, they were two segregation-era hot spots located just outside of Annapolis where African Americans spent their summers relaxing by the water and taking in the biggest musical acts of the day such as James Brown, Aretha Franklin, the Drifters, the Supremes, and many more. These two family-run beaches brought in audiences from all over the East Coast including audiences of 40,000 people for the James Brown concerts. Not bad considering the current population of Annapolis is around 35,000 people. Can you imagine doubling the size of the city for a day?
Very little research has been done on these sites and the people who attended, worked, and performed there are aging quickly. The Coordinator of Social Studies for Anne Arundel County and I put our heads together and came up with the Music to Our Ears project where high school students learn about the beaches as well as how to do oral history interviews. Then the students go out into the community and conduct oral history interviews as well as gather photographs and other memorabilia from their friends, family, and other community members. All of this is then compiled into a public presentation of some sort. Last year the students created a mini-documentary and this year they did an exhibition that opened at the Banneker-Douglass Museum just after Memorial Day and will be up through Labor Day. The project has been embraced by the community and has kept me running and off the blog for the last several months. Now that the project is on break for the summer, I am able to return to my blogging and other activities.
So there you have it. Our mea culpa and reasons for our absence. I promise a plethora of posts to come in the next few weeks and lots of pictures to make up for our absence. Thanks for hanging in there with us!