The CSUF Project Tells the Stories of the Black Community Through Digital Mapping – Orange County Register

The art of storytelling can take many forms, and Cal State Fullerton uses the intersection of history and digital media to creatively tell the stories behind the past, present, and future of Black-owned businesses and community organizations in Orange County.

In the summer of 2021, Jamila Moore Pewu, CSUF Assistant Professor of Digital Humanities and New Media in History, and Natalie Graham, former Chair of CSUF’s Department of African American Studies, began exploring the idea of ​​a creative technology collaboration that would enable undergraduates to access African American Studies courses to also develop skills in Digital Humanities.

At the beginning of the Fall 2021 semester, 54 students in both Pewu’s History of Orange County course and the university’s introductory course, Introduction to African American Studies, worked on a project called #Networked OC to bridge the gap between these two areas of study to beat.

In Pewu’s class, students collected evidence from various archives across the county and assembled a library of materials that provided insight into the history of Black-owned businesses in Orange County.

At the same time, students in the African American Studies class compiled a directory of well-known black businesses and interviewed owners, including those of businesses that recently closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

During the spring semester of 2022, Pewu, supported by a larger grant, continued to advance the project with a number of additional initiatives.

Nine fall semester students received grants through the African American Alliance Fund to continue their work on the project. These #Networked OC Scholars completed additional research activities and received professional development in oral history.

“The idea behind this was to tie them into a longer, more sustainable research project,” Pewu said.

At the same time, in their spring Digital History course, Pewu and students explored ways to creatively document the data collected over the past semester.

With a desire to produce more than one list of companies, or another version of Yelp, Pewu wanted to expand the data mapping technology available

https://www.ocregister.com/2022/08/16/csuf-project-tells-the-stories-of-the-black-community-through-digital-mapping/ The CSUF Project Tells the Stories of the Black Community Through Digital Mapping – Orange County Register

Dais Johnston

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