by Walter Hood (Author), Grace Mitchell Tada (Author)
“Do black landscapes matter?” is an issue that goes to the heart of American history. The nation’s terrain contains the wreckage of different origins, from slavery’s plantations to today’s divided cities, from freedman settlements to northern migrations for freedom. Black landscapes are significant because they reveal reality. Walter Hood, a renowned landscape designer and public artist, brings together several noteworthy landscape architecture and planning professionals and scholars in this essential new collection to investigate how race, memory, and meaning intersect in the American landscape.
Essayists look at various locations around the United States, from New Orleans and Charlotte to Milwaukee and Detroit, to expose racism in the built environment and acknowledge the pervasive erasure of black geographies and cultural landscapes. Contributors show the inadequate, normative depictions of a landscape that harm communities of colour and challenge how public design and preservation efforts may help people in these areas through a combination of case studies, critiques, and calls to action. In a culture where historical omissions and false narratives often cause disinvestment in minority communities, designers, planners, artists, and residents must develop innovative ways to reactivate them. In ways that can never be fully understood, black people have built and shaped the American landscape. Black Landscapes Matter is an important reminder that understanding America’s past and future requires acknowledging and resolving these histories and spaces.
The National Design Award for Landscape Architecture was given to HOOD Design in 2009.
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