Addressing Americas Urban Crisis Challenge: Black History, Architecture and Urban Culture

May 3, 2009

Addressing Americas Urban Crisis Challenge: Black History, Architecture and Urban Culture

And Solutions for Rebuilding New Orleans

By Joseph C. Edgecombe, Urban Scholar

Email: Black-History@live.com  

  • Our National History – Summary
  • Black Architecture Perspectives: Afro/African-American Culture (Urban Politics)
  • Conclusion: The Challenge of Rebuilding New Orleans: The Social-Political and Economic challenge of creating the goal of Architectural Justice for all.

Our National History – Summary

In address of today’s urban and Architectural/socio-economic affairs I am convening/advocating a landmark summit to address social historical and architectural-economic and cultural (political) issues and problems we face as an aspiring modern society of free people striving for equality, justice, freedom and understanding which in many ways has not been granted.

All concerned should be interested and willing to participate in this post civil rights and post corporate diversity world we live in today we must conquer the problems that plague urban America the world and Africa  if we are to the leaders and the true architects of the future of society.

We must set the path for others to follow as leaders do, but we must not only lead but create the future M.L.K. had the will and audacity to have a new dream which, and Marcus Garvey  had the spirit of independence and along with Malcolm X and others of the previous Harlem Renaissance and the Black arts and literature movement set the tone for revolutionizing the 20th century, which was accomplished but has not been recognized still by may, it’s as if Nelson Mandela was still in jail or the Emancipation proclamation was nothing but a letter to Uncle Sam the good old USA. But in consideration of Shirley Chisholm’s groundbreaking, courageous and unprecedented 1972 Campaign for the Presidency of the United States where she founded the change movement as a political-Architect of change – this is not old America or the good old USA this is a new century and millennium and America is a renewed country just as if we were to renew an old deteriorating building that was falling apart and was in severe need of architects to rebuild the infrastructure and remodel the building and save it from collapsing.

Let us come together and gather and become the new nation of achievers that revived old cities and communities and breathed new life into old politics of place and past generations and form the future because we have to function because if there is no function there is no form, we must be able to sculpt our future as African artist create afro-centric artwork and make great works of art out of stone and wood. We as the architects of the future must do the same, not for glorification but the attribution of the creative process which is to make something out of what many people disregard as nothing., in essence we must find the gems and domains that lay in the old mines of the urban environment and skillfully reengineer the hidden qualities of the potentiality of an Architectural Investigation urban problems and urban blight. To succeed is to accomplish step by step gaining momentum not all at once but in time building to a greater cause with every accomplishment. Our cause is our future and we must build it in the words of Malcolm X by any means necessary. We are the new Afro-nation and we must build together the we have lost much of our past but not our future “Sankofa” We can build a great society the great society many have fought for except this one stretches beyond borders and country lines and color lines.

We can begin at home but we must also address the potential of the New World Society, we are now One World technologically linked. We must make this our Architectural Mission.

Black Architecture: Urban Justice for Urban Communities (Urban Politics)

Dedicated Black architectural professionals have been unrecognized in the fight against discrimination and neglect by mainstream American society but have demonstrated an outstanding track record of accomplishments and have provided the cultural integrity and leadership necessary in a peaceful effort to guide society and the architectural profession in the right direction of urban justice for urban communities.

Acknowledging the disparity, gap and crisis in the field of architecture and the need to address the need for more access, education, exposure and the promotion of black architecture and the creative achievements of the field which benefit our world and urban communities. As concerned citizens concerned about our future we need to give

recognition and honor to our black architects and architectural professionals who serve society in many different ways and in uncompromising  and honorable fashion who are dedicated to building society for the betterment of our future. We must ensure that we are educated about the facts of the progressive black architectural culture in our cities and  communities where we all live and we must remember to recognize that they too are  the catalyst and leaders who facilitate and poses the knowledge and technology of creating the urban and architectural renaissance necessary to save our communities from urban plight and decay…all contributions weather large or small are all apart of building and designing a better and brighter future for the of our city and country.

Conclusion

The Challenge of Rebuilding New Orleans: The Social-Political and Economic challenge of creating the goal of Architectural Justice for all.

In the effort to rebuild a major city and cultural Mecca  from hurricane deviation and broken levees, and the experience of government breakdown or government dysfunction we have corralled numerous  professional organizations and associations, community cause oriented groups,  not-for–profit organizations,  local  and national leaders, talented artists, celebrities and the concerned public, volunteers and voluntary organizations, media journalist and interested traveling individuals who see the cause to contribute to concern the rebuilding efforts by whatever means possible, not to mention foundations and humanitarian organizations which also have a large impact in the rebuilding effort. 

The City of  New Orleans faces the challenge  of making progressive strives on limited funds which may not meet the programmed goals of many of the plans which have been created and constructed as the means of planning the agenda  and formula to regenerate and develop a new…New Orleans.

100 years after the civil War the country found itself fighting the battle for civil rights and human rights of many in the US South and also fighting against racism against black America as the country moved into the progressive era of the 70’s as the country tried to create a united message instead finding that the divide state of America had left black America behind, left-out and not included in the progressive business of growing a prosperous country.

Many victims of the Katrina Hurricane have felt left-out and left behind by the US government because of poor reaction and poor response technically and administratively., repeating in a sense the issues of the civil rights movement some 40 years later. Approximately 140+ years after the civil war in many ways the United States still finds itself not only divided but drastically divided.

Now the challenge of America in rebuilding New Orleans is also rebuilding confidence in our American government and American society.

Presidential candidates have campaigned on the platform of the rebuilding effort in New Orleans.

But beyond these facts the facts of African American history still stand true as our National History, and the challenge of rebuilding New Orleans is not only administrative or governmental but multi-organizational including our educational institutions. Now we see that constructing and creating and managing the redevelopment and rebuilding of NOLA is more the rebuilding from the catastrophe of a storm …but it has become a coordination challenge of Architectural promotions which are comprehensive in nature and multifaceted and challenging.

We as a people can now see that re-building   a city is more than just the construction of building plans or building a political agenda or philosophy passed down to the people from the government.  It is the demand and challenge to meet the architectural goals – not only political goals of bring people and society together to build a future together.

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