This item is only available as the following downloads:
COLLECTING STORIES: ORAL HISTORY AND COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT IN URBAN REDEVELOPMENT By RYANN WOLF A Thesis Submitted to the Division of Social Sciences New College of Florida In partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree Bachelor o f Arts in Social Sciences Under the sponsorship of David K. Brain Sarasota, Florida May 2010
1 ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS First I have to thank my adviser David Brain, for all of your patience and understanding. nesty. Uzi, thank you for teaching me to listen closely to what people are telling me Bob, for showing me that American history can be interesting and always allowing me to find my passions and to study them in depth. Maria, thank you for you patience, Thank you to my family for the love and support that you have provided through this very long and sometimes trying process. Dearest Morgan I coul d not have done it without you. Thanks for putting up with my craziness and the 9:47 ice cream runs and the millions of coffee runs. And thanks Pito for the nice snuggles and always making sure I get up in the morning right around 7:15. Lucia and Corrie y it without you two. Miss Marisol the late nights really helped. To the kids at the center thank you so much, because you always could cheer me up. Especially to Thom Thom whose love of spinning and being dizzy always makes me laugh. Lastly I would like to thank the good folks at Starbucks, I could not have done this without the medium mocha or the medium iced mocha, and the free refills at the all night Starbucks got me through a lot. And thank you to my espresso machine, I could not have done it without you.
2 TABLE OF CONTENTS Page ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS ii TABLE OF CONTENTS iii CHAPTER ONE: Introduction 1 CHAPTER TWO: Redevelopment and Revita lization 3 Redevelopment and Community Participation CHAPTER THREE: History and Place 11 Historic Preservation Challenges for Preservation CHAPTER FOUR: Case Study: Newtown 24 History of Newtown Galilee Cemetery CHAPTER FI VE: Conclusion 39 BIBLIOGRAPHY 41
3 Introduction For more than twenty years working for UPS, Euline Myrick drove past the Galilee Cemetery every day. He believed that the state of the cemetery represented the state of the community of Newtown. He decided to get involved in cleaning up the cemetery, and a little more than five years later he was voted as the sexton of the cemetery. Mr. Myrick has no relatives buried in the cemetery, but he saw it as a responsibility to the community. Mr. Myrick told me his story as part of a project I am working on to collect oral histories on Galilee Cemetery, as part a broader project to create a historic district in Newtown. Place based oral histories can be useful for both planners and communities in urban redevelopment. al histories can be incorporated into neighborhood planning when done correctly. She argues that oral histories are useful at the neighborhood level, but not all types of oral histories are useful for planning professionals. Oral histories include a broad range of subjects, such as historical events, places, and even individual lives, understood through the eyes of the interviewees. Researchers may also choose to have structured, in which the researcher provides a specific topic and keeps the subject on top ic, or unstructured interviews, in which the subject may discuss whatever he or she wishes. Thomas argues that interviews must be structured if the oral histories are going to ok at the incorporation of oral histories in urban redevelopment, but it leaves a lot to be desired.
4 My thesis will build on her work and look closer at the conditions in which oral histories can be beneficial for both planning professionals and community members in urban revitalization. I believe that there are uses for oral histories in urban redevelopment. The first use is that it allows for planners, architects, and urban designers oral histories are useful to professionals in urban redevelopment. Another way oral histories are useful is that they can help to build a sense of identity that is situated in place and the history of a place. Learning t he history of the place where one li ves can help to build a sense of pride and involvement in the process of redevelopment. When done properly oral histories can help to provide a sense of pride in one s community. The first section of my thesis will explore the history of redevelopment in itiatives in the U.S. and how community participation has historically been included in redevelopment.. The discussion of community participation will lead into a discussion into Community Redevelopment Agencies. It is important to look at CRAs because it is a tool being used in Newtown to promote redevelopment. In the second section of my thesis, I look at history and place. I start with a am using Gieryn for two reasons The first is that he provides a straight forward definition of place. Secondly, he looks at how an understanding of place can be incorporated in sociology, which makes sense for my study. I then look at historic preservation as relying the history of pla ces. This leads into a discussion of oral histories as a tool for redevelopment first in historic preservation and then more broadly in
5 redevelopment. This leads into an understanding of story sites and place based oral histories. The third section of my thesis is an analysis of the two oral histories that I collected: Euline Myrick and Shirley Walker. While I started this project thinking that I would be collecting histories of the cemetery, but I collected histories of the Taskforce, which is currently m place, these oral histories can be included in a place based oral history of Galilee Cemetery. While I understand how the oral histories I collect will be used to have the cemetery regist er on the Register of Historic Places I am interested in the other ways that they may be used by planners and the community. One way that these oral histories can be useful to planners is that they provide an organized framework for citizen involvement ea rly in the planning process, so that there is a sense of collaboration that can help to curb protests later in the planning process. Oral histories can also provide planners, architects, and developers with information on how spaces are used in everyday li fe and what a commu nity may be lacking. Often the planners, developers and architects are not residents of the communities, especially minority communities, that they are working in and so may have a local understanding of how spaces are used.
6 Chapter 2 : Redevelopment and Revitalization This thesis is about the ways in which oral histories, as a form of community participation, can be used in redevelopment, so it must start by looking at the ways in which redevelopment has historically occurred and how community participation has been incorporated into redevelopment. I will look at three periods of urban renewal and redevelopment; the first period is post WWII. I will begin with Title I as a federal program, which Robert Moses utilized to change the face of New York City. I will then The second period is the 1960s, with Jacobs acting as a tra nsition between early renewal and the attempts of the 1960s to bring the community into planning and revitalization. I will specifically look at the community action agencies of the 1960s. I will then look at Community Redevelopment Agencies, which are bei ng used today, including in Sarasota and Newtown. because there is a difference between redevelopment and gentrification, which is seen as a failure in redevelopment by the origi nal residents and community groups Sharon Zukin says of gentrification, Gentrification, the conversion of socially marginal and working class areas of the central city to middle class residential use, reflects a movement, that began in the 1960s, of priva te market investment capital into downtown districts of major urban centers. Related to a shift in corporate investment and a corresponding expansion of the urban service economy, gentrification was seen more immediately in architectural r estoration o f det eriorating h ousing and the clustering of new cultural amenities in the urban core. 1 1 Annual Review of Sociology Vol. 13, (1987), pp. 129 147, 129.
7 Her explanation of gentrification reveals the private/public partnership in redevelopment in which private investment and the urban political regime attempted to revitaliz e urban centers. Gentrification can be used by either private or public entities to invest or reinvest in an area. Redevelopment that is considered successful by a community, is considered so because it is sensitive to the needs of the current residents, and addresses those needs. Redevelopment and Community Participation I will look at a brief history of redevelopment and community participation by starting with two key fig ures, Robert Moses and Jane Jacobs, of the attempts of the early attempts at urban renewal and community participation. Robert Moses is known for changing the face of New York City. He was an administrator, who learned how to work the system to get federal and state money for renewal and development in New York City. Jane Jacobs wrote on New York City and believed that there should be community input in planning and redevelopment. Moses and Jacobs represent two different approaches to redevelopment, which at the time was called renewal. Robert Moses represents a top down a pproach, while Jacobs represented and promoted a bottom up approach to planning and renewal. Urban renewal became a federal program under the Housing Act of 1949, specifically Title I of t he act. The goal of the federal government was to eliminate slums and blighted areas by getting rid of substandard housing. 2 Robert Moses was a public official, but the residents of New York City never elected Moses to the posts in which he served. He was an efficient administrator and secured a great deal of funding from state 2 and Contemporary P roblems Vol. 25, No. 4, Urban Renewal: Part 1 (Autumn, 1960), pp. 777 792.
8 and federal programs, such as Title I, for renewal projects. 3 Moses utilized Title I when it was still was still a new program. He created many parks and parkways. He has been great ly critiqued. Manhattantown is seen as the epitome of corruption and failure of the Title I program under Robert Moses. In an attempt to increase efficiency Moses gave the responsibility of relocating residents to the private investors, he also allowed p rivate investors to collect rent from residents, who had not yet been cleared from the parcel. Investors were expected to maintain the properties until the residents could be cleared. The 1954 federal investigation of those involved with Manhattantown reve aled that in three years there had been little clearance of the land and the investors had become little more than slumlords. While those involved with the Manhattantown project were able to take advantage of tools that Moses used to increase efficiency. A fter the investigation of Manhattantown the federal government mandated that private investors could no longer be put in charge of the relocation of residents of Title I programs, and there was a decrease in efficiency. 4 The quest for efficiency should never be placed above the quality of life for a group of people, but it is also unfair to place all the blame for the failure and corruption of Manhattantown on Robert Moses. Title I was an experiment, sadly one that a ffected real lives, and Moses was atte mpting to make it work, and his programs were taken advantage of, just as people have taken advantage of many government programs. One critique of Robert Moses is his tendency to break up thriving communities and neighborhoods. 5 The area of New York that would become Manhattantown, which 3 Hilary Ballon and Kenneth T. Jackson ed. Robert Moses and the Modern City: The Transformation of New York New York: W.W. Norton and Company, 2006. 4 Ibid, 94 100, 262 3. 5 Ibid, 263.
9 was a Title I project, was relatively integrated before Moses project, but after the development, the neighborhood became segregated. Part of the development including middle class housing and other amenities aimed at inc reasing the middle class population in the area, which inevitably increased real estate values making it unaffordable for many of the previous residents. 6 Moses was not purposely segregating people, but attempting to revitalize the neighborhood through inc reasing the land values and bringing in middle class residents. While this is really gentrification, which is the replacement of low or working class people with middle to upper class residents, it does not look as though Moses was trying to do anything b ut improve the quality of the neighborhood for both the residents and future investors. 7 This result out of a project that was top down is not unusual. In The Life and Death of Great American Cities Jane Jacobs criticizes the ways in which urban renewal occurred particularly in New York City. Jacobs saw Robert Moses as being representative of what was wrong with urban renewal projects. Jacobs criticizes the tendency of Moses and other public administrators to destroy neighborhoods in an attempt to incre ase the tax base of an area. Developers, often supported by the public sector, often forced resident of areas that were to be revitalized to move to other blighted areas. The increase of density strained blighted areas even further. 8 Jacobs criticized the ways in which community participation was carried out during the planning process. She argued that planning boards would listen not to the community, but to experts or those with money. She wrote, 6 Ibid, 262 3. 7 Ibid, 260 7. 8 Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities New York: Vintage Books, 1961, 270.
10 So many of the conflicts would never occur if planners and other supposed experts understood in least how cities work and respected those workings. Still other issues, it appears, involve forms of favoritism, deals or arbitrary administrative acts which outrage voters but for which they can find no effective place to pin responsibility or seek repair. In many cases too (not all) the hundreds 9 Jacobs argues in this passage that city planning boards make decisions not based on what citizens want, but based on e xperts, favoritism, or political deals. She sees the citizen input section of the meeting as being for show and is disappointed that it is just a spectacle because the people, who come are working people that want to better their communities. Moses and Jac As a result of the failures of urban renewal to fix the social problems of urban communities, d uring the 1960s, there was a movement to include residents of urban communities in the redevelopment process. In 1964, the federal government passed the Economic Opportunity Act, which was part of the War on Poverty. The goals of the War on Poverty were enhancing the oppor tunities of poor children and to fight poverty at the community level. 10 11 Halpern argues that one of the problems with the community action agencies is that they further alienated blighted communities. It alienated communities both from each other and from the government agencies and bureaucracies established to help blighted 9 Ibid, 406. 10 Robert Halpern, Rebuilding the Inner City (New York: Columbia University Press, 1995) 107. 11 Ibid, 108.
11 communiti es. 12 He argues that the actual result of community action agencies was to create a sense of us versus them, between the community and government agencies. heavier reliance on p rivate investment for urban revitalization. 13 In the U.S., urban renewal has been largely a joint effort of the public and private sector. In his essay, of privatism in urban redevelopment in the United States. Squires says, Although urban renewal was launched and initially justified as an effort to improve the housing conditions of low income urban residents, it quickly became a massive public subsidy for private bus iness development, particularly downtown commercial real estate interests. 14 Business development was seen as the answer to urban blight, but as land values increased, which also increased the taxes on properties, low income residents have often been push ed out of neighborhoods and communities and often into neighborhoods that could not handle the influx of people. In his book Democracy in Suburbia J. Eric Oliver argues that a challenge to redevelopment is a lack of what he calls civic capacity. Oliver de fines civic capacity as 15 Oliver explains that city governance often sides in favor of the business interests because they can organize faster and for m coalitions with elected officials. He argues that communities with high civic capacity can organize more quic kly 12 Ibid, 108. 13 Pastor, et al, Regions that Work ( Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2000), 55 6. 14 Readings in Urban Theory ed. Susan S. Feinstein and Scott Campbell (Malden MA: Blackwell Publishing, 2002), 246. 15 J. Eric Oliver, Democracy in Suburbia (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2001), 205.
12 to have their voices heard. 16 There must be community involvement, but what is interesting is that Oliver is arguing that residents need to engage in the public realm so they can come together to be able to organize as a n effective voice in redevelopment. One tool that is being used by cities is Community Redevelopment Agencies. In 1969, the Florida Legislature enacted a statute, which allowed for the creation of CRAs. The Newtown Community Redevelopment Area Plan says, the overall goal of the legislature was to encourage local initia tives to stimulate and incentivize downtown and neighborhood/ community revitalization by maximizing opportunities for private enterprises/ investors to participate in the redevelopment of the designated area(s). 17 Redevelopment aims at improving areas for the current residents, with the hopes that wealthier residents will move in, but not replace the current residents. In the United States redevelopment is a joint project between private and public investors, which can be at odds. In 2007, the city of Sarasota expanded the boundaries of the CRA (Community Redevelopment Area) to include Newtown, which is the African American community in Sarasota. The city commission, which acts as the CRA Board, then created an advisory board in New town for the CRA board. The Newtown CRA Advisory Board is made up of citizens and business owners from Newtown and financial and planning experts from Sarasota. The term community, as used in the CRAs is a geographic location, but often the residents share s a similar history. For Newtown it is a geographic and racial community. It is defined as an African American community in the CRA Plan. 18 16 Ibid, 205 06. 17 2002, 6. 18 8.
13 One method for financing redevelopment is Tax Increment Funding (TIF), which nts in an area slated for redevelopment by capturing for a time all or a portion of the increased property tax revenues that may result 19 The revenues are put into a special fund and may be used for publi c works projects, such as updating infrastructure, in the redevelopment area. In Florida CRAs (Community Redevelopment Agencies) typically control TIF funds. This is one way to fund redevelopment, and it is controlled by a CRA. In Sarasota the city commiss ion also sits as the CRA Board and then there is a board, the Newtown CRA Advisory Board, which advises the CRA Board on projects and proposals. From what I have heard at the meetings the CRA will agree with the decisions made by the advisory board. The Ne wtown CRA Advisory Board is made up of members of the community, including land owners, business owners and residents, and it also has 20 Although the Newtown CRA Advisory Board is made up of residen ts, they still want active participation from the community. One project that was presented to them in June of 2009. Dr. Clifford Smith gave a presentation on a project, which including collecting oral histories to help create a historic district in Newtow n. While the focus of the presentation was the creation of a historic district and preservation of historic buildings in Newtown, the aspect of oral histories seemed to present an interesting way for residents of Newtown to become involved in the community 19 Florida Redevelopment Association, Catalysts of Redevelopment: An Evaluation of Three Florida CRAs, 1. 20 Sarasota City Government, Newtown Community Redevelopment Agency Advisory Board Members, http://www.sarasotagov .com/InsideCityGovernment/Content/CAC/AdvisoryBoard/ADVBRD NCRA Members.htm
14 Chapter 3: History and Place Place in Sociology place. 21 The first important element is that it is a geographic location. The second element is the physicality of place. The objects that come together to make a place can be either natural, such as trees and mountains, or fabricated, such a street or a building Gieryn Social processes (difference, power, inequality, collective action) happen through 22 According to Gieryn, the last element of place is the investment of meaning and value. Gieryn ar gues that places are doubly constructed. They are physically constructed or carved out, such as a nature 23 Gieryn is arguing that while places are physical spaces it is through the social interactions that these spaces become places. Planners and architects attempt to create places out of space, and so they must understand how places are created and the role that An important element in the construction of a sense of place is the history of a place and a connection to that history. Dolores Hayden argues that public history projects can bring together a community to reflect on its history and to begin to define itself 24 P articipation in a public history project, such as the collection of oral histories, can 21 Thomas Gieryn, pp. 463 496. 22 Ibid, 465. 23 Ibid, 466. 24 Dolores Hayden, The Power of Place: Urban Landscape as Public History Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1997. 47 9.
15 contribute to the process of a community defin ing itself as a place and defin ing the history of the place. This can be empowering not only for the community, but al so for individuals within the community. Hayden sees history as playing an important role in 25 Planners and developers have looked to the pa st to improve the future of blighted areas, specifically through historic preservation. Historic Preservation: Historic preservation has traditionally been carried out by local governments or grassroots organizations. Early preservation in the eastern Unit ed States centered on sites of national importance These sites tended to be buildings associated with the founding fathers and other aspects of patriotic history. In 1935, Congress passed the Historic Sites Act, which declared it national policy to erve for public use historic sites, buildings 26 Much of the preservation that occurred in the United States centered on studying and preserving architecture and sites associated with important individuals or events. Congress passed the National Historic Preservation Act, which created the National Register of Historic places and the criteria for a place to be listed as worthy of preserving. 27 While there are federal laws pertaining to preservation, most preservation ha ppens at the local level, frequently through development and redevelopment. Redevelopment through historic preservation which occurred in Georgetown and SoHo in New York City, uses the history of a place to revitalize communities. Public 25 Ibid, 45. 26 5. 27 Ibid, 25 6.
16 history projects, such as oral histories, are used in historic preservation by cities and local organizations working toward the revitalization of communities. Many cities, such as St. Louis, Boston, and New York, have engaged in the revitalization of thei r waterfront. St. Louis used waterfront restoration as a means of community revitalization, while still preserving its rich history. St. Louis like so many other cities saw the movement of people from the inner city to the surrounding suburbs. Many peo ple, including politicians and residents, blamed a lack of collective attachment to place for the deterioration of inner city communities Suburban sprawl increased this perceived lack Local politicians and developers alike saw waterfront restoration as a way to both create a sense of place amongst residents and bring in money from outsiders. 28 By looking at one such project, the Mary Meachum Freedom Crossing, we can see how community participation can be used in historic preservation, which is geared to wa rd helping in the redevelopment of surrounding communities. In St. Louis both local government and local grassroots organiz ations engaged residents of communities surrounding the waterfront in historic preservation projects Their goal was t o foster a se nse of pride in these communities. Waterfront revitalization projects include environmental preservation and restoration, historic preservation of the built environment and economic development. 29 In the case of the revitalization of the waterfront in St. Louis, there were grassroots projects aimed at creating a sense of pride in surrounding communities that were seen as blighted The Mary Meachum Freedom Crossing is an example of such a project The push for the enhancement of the Mary Meachum Freedo m Crossing came from the Grace Hill Settlement House, which is dedicated to providing social services for 28 pages 35 and 36. 29 Ibid, 34 38.
17 those in need in 2003 The Grace Hill Settlement House was founded in 1903, and continues to provide se rvices such as youth programs, job training a nd inner city health clinics for needy families in north St. Louis. The Grace Hill Settlement House decided to use the waterfront revitalization project to push for the development of the Mary Meachum Freedom Crossing to benefit the surrounding communities 30 From the beginning residents from surrounding neighborhoods were involved in the project. The Grace Hill Settlement House organized com munity meetings so they could learn what the residents of surrounding neighborhoods wanted and needed from redevelopme nt. The Settlement House along with a grassroots movement, wanted to prevent developers and the city from using historic preservation as a means of gentrification. Residents from the surrounding neighborhoods were also included in planning for the project from the beginning. 31 While the Mary Meachum project was aimed at preserving a historic site, the city, Grace Hill Settlement House, and residents through the Grace Hill Settlement House, underst ood that the project, by bringing jobs and investors attracte d by tourism, would help to redevelop the surrounding neighborhoods This resulted in a concentrated effort to include the residents of the communities. While the Mary Meachum Freedom Crossing represents historic preservation being used by a community grou p with planners to define and improve the neighborhood by providing jobs, but also by acknowledging the history of African Americans in St. Louis Whether this project is successful is yet to be seen, but amongst residents there is hope. Challenges for preservation 30 Ibid, 35 36. 31 Ibid, 35.
18 As a field, historic preservation faces ma ny challenges both theoretical and practical One challenge that preservationists face is the accusation that historic preservation is a tool for g entrification. The accusation that some p eople, such a s developers, use historic preservation as a tool for gentrification is not completely Cirillo Archer defines gentrification as, housing stoc k of working or lower class neighborhoods, often results in increased property taxes and increased rent, both of which lead to the displacement of the lower socio economic group by the higher. 32 Gentrification is the displacement of people and has affec ted low income communities. One example of gentrification through historic preservation is Georgetown in Washington DC. It is important to understand how historic preservation can result in the gentrification of blighted areas, and how using a select histo ry can be marketable, but can also displace residents of a neighborhood. There are economic incentives for developers to invest in historic preservation. One economic incentive is that the market is favorable for reusing historic buildings. Sharon Zukin ar gues that developers used historic prese rvation laws to legitimize and increase the loft market in New York City, which led to the gentrification of SoHo. Historic preservation played a role in the gentrification of SoHo, particularly in the creation and m aintenance of the loft market 33 Newsom argues that developers used historic preservation to gentrify Georgetown. He wrote, true history of Georgetown was an 32 The Public Historian, Vol. 13, No.4 (Fall 1991); R egents of the University of Berkley, pg. 33. 33 Sharon, Zukin.
19 integrated history. The black elements in that history have now been destroyed, resulting in a perversion and distortion of history. 34 Newsom puts forth that one of the problems with historic preservation is that what is preserved is not always inclusive of various ethnic, racial, and class groups. He sees Georgetown as an example of a place where the history of blacks in the a rea has been excluded, and in some sense destroyed. What Newsom is describing ca n be defined as displacement, not just physically, but historically. If historic preservation aims at preserving places, excluding people from the history that has been preserved renders them displaced. Newsom points out that historic preservation is not always inclusive of all groups that may have lived in a place over time. Georgetown is an interesting case, because Newsom argues that it actually has a history of being an integrated neighborhood in which both African American and whites lived. He argues that the developers, who used historic preservation and the city that allowed it, left the African American history out and instead preserved the history of Georgetown being an upscale cultured neighborhood. 35 Newsom reveals in his essay a very important q uestion that must be asked when looking at historic preservation, especially when it is a area, and that is whose history is being preserved? preservation and an important questio n surrounding historic preservation. It is important that the question, whose history is being preserved, is asked because there are financial and practical consequences for people who own properties that are being preserved. In his 34 Newsom, 424. 35 Ibid, 424 6.
20 Herzfield looks at the impact of historic preservation on homeowners, and the issue of whose history is being preserved. He looks at the preservation of Old Town in Rethemos, which had been under b oth Turkish and Venetian control at various points. The architecture of Rethemos reflects the two powers. Much of the architecture that is being preserved is Turkish influenced architecture, which is contested. Many people see the Turkish as being invaders The problem of whose history is being preserved, is further acerbated by the restrictions placed upon homeowners in Old Town. Because of the preservation, homeowners cannot make changes to their homes without permission and it is expensive to make any ch anges. 36 With burdens placed on property owners within a historic district it is important that people it is important that people both understand the burden and are included in the process of defining a historic district. Oral histories work to include the voices of those who have been excluded, which I believe will create places that are more inclusive. Oral Histories: commentaries of historical significance through recorded interviews 37 One way in which, such as those collected by journalist, because they are firsthand accounts of historical events. Barbara Sommer and Mary Kay Quinlan argue that the use of oral histories also differentiates it from interviews. They argue the purpose o f interviews done 36 The Anthropology of Space and Place Ed. Setha M Low and Denise Lawrence Zuniga. Malden: Blackwell Publishing, 2007. 363 9. 37 Ritchie, Donald A. Doing Oral History Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003. 1.
21 by journalists is for sound bites, where as an oral history interview should provide lengthy answers to open ended questions. 38 Oral histories represent a bottom up approach to history. The practice gained popularity in the United States during the Great Depression. As part of the Federal Writers Project, which was part of the Works Progress Administration, writers and historians collected the life stories of various Americans. The oral histories collected by the FWP were seen as democrati zing in that they revealed the cultural diversity of the United States. The belief that oral histories could democratize history carried through to the 1960s. It was during that decade that oral history research greatly expanded. One of the reasons for ex pansion is technological; the availability of portable tape recorders allowed for more historians to go out and collect oral histories. The second reason for expansion is the social history movement. Many people pushed for a more inclusive history to refle ct the multi ethnic and multiracial population. 39 If the use of history in planning reflects an attempt to empower the community, oral histories can be used to include the voices of residents. One method that can ensure that oral histories can be useful is by gathering place based oral histories. Ned Kaufman explores how sites can bring out oral histories, which can help planners and developers understand both the place and the community. In his bringing socially valuable stories to mind: stories of history, tradition, and shared 40 Kaufman says of the stories these sites provide: 38 Sommer, Barbara W. and Mary Kay Quinlan. The Oral History Manual Plymouth: AltaMira Press, 2 002. 3. 39 Thomas Charlton, 11 5. 40 Ned Kaufman, Place, Race, and Story, 39.
22 Some of these stories fall into the range, we are accustomed to call history, while others approximate folklore, but this distinction does not match the way people think about sites and stories. The important point is that all stories describe some aspect of a shared past, and each story is felt by the tellers to have some bearing on the character of their neighborhood, village, city, or region, and its citizens today. 41 The collection of oral histories allows for residents of a community to articulate the impact of a site on b oth the physical and social community. It also allows outsiders an opportunity to see the community in the same light as the residents of a community. By understanding the history of a site, insiders and outsiders can come to shared ideas of the community. A story site, such as Galilee Cemetery, allows people to find common understandings of a place. Oral histories can provide planners, architects, and developers with information on how spaces are used in everyday life and what a community may be lacking. 42 Often times especially in the case of minority communities, the planners, developers and architects are not residents of the area they are working in and may have a local understanding of how spaces are used. Residents of a neighborhood can provide planne rs and developers with what Robert Rotenberg call metropolitan knowledge, which is an understanding of the symbols, and meanings that make up the city or neighborhood in which they live. 43 By providing planning professionals with local knowledge, residents of communities will help them to have a better understanding of the needs and desires of the community. Oral histories also allow for planners and developers to learn of spaces that operate as an anchor for a community. In The Great Good Place Ray Oldenbu rg argues 41 Kaufman,39. 42 42 Hayden, 33 5. 43 Robert Rotenberg, 94.
23 that one reason there is not a sense of community in the suburbs is that they lack the spaces, which he calls third spaces to promote community. The types of spaces that promote community vary greatly and include spaces such as bars, cafs, ha ir salons and parks. 44 The preservation of these spaces is important for the creation and preservation of a sense of place. One of the problems facing blighted communities is a lack of what is called social capital. In the book Regions that Work Pastor et set of relationships, such as business collaborations and labor market networks, which 45 Social capital is important both on the indi vidual level and on the community level. Pastor et al, who rely on Putnam a sociologist, who writes extensively on social capital and community involvement explain that communities need spaces for residents to meet, interact, and come together to build so cial capital. Eric Oliver, building off Putnam and Pastor et al, discusses civic capacity in his solve conflicts in a non violent way, express their dissatisfaction and to work with neighbors. He argues that civic capacity, which is defined at the community level, is built through voluntary civic engagement of residents of the community. 46 Oral histories, or more specifically the collection of oral histories by community r esidents, can build social capital and civic capacity. By engaging one and other a community can build broader social networks amongst residents. The participation in a community history project is a 44 Ray Oldenburg, 5. 45 Pastor et al page 6. 46 J. Eric Oliver, 202 3.
24 civic engagement, because it is engaging the community f or some form of community betterment, whether to empower the community or to redevelop the community. One way that these oral histories can be useful to planners or organizations hoping to use preservation for redevelopment is as a means of providing an or ganized framework for citizen involvement early in the process, to help create both social capital and civic capacity. This can be done by utilizing residents for the collection of oral histories, which would allow for the construction of new social networ ks. In addition, by including community organizations and the local politicians, they can build a broader social network, which is important for communities that have been socially and economically isolated. The framework provided by the act of collecting oral histories, which requires a structured methodology, can provide a forum for citizen input. By allowing a social space for civic engagement, a community can increase its civic capacity. Oral histories can also be used to instill a sense of pride in the residents of a community or a neighborhood. Hayden argues that public history projects can provide a means to this end by revealing a history that is not commonly known or celebrated. As an example, she points to a worki ng class neighborhood in Brass Valley. She argues that because histories that are commonly celebrated are not those of minorities or workers, involving the community in the remembering and preserving of their history can instill a pride their heritage. Fur thermore, when that history is connected to the physical environment, they become proud of their physical environment as well. 47 Understanding of the potential to empower the community is important, and can be useful to community organizations and city gove rnments alike. 47 Hayden,47 9.
25 One of the most important uses of oral histories in redevelopment is to create a common understanding of the history of a neighborhood or community amongst residents and planning professionals. Residents of a neighborhood or community view t hese areas differently from planners or developers. A developer looks at the property values in a neighborhood and land use designations within an area and how the developer can make a profit. Residents pay attention to property values as well, but they al so have a sentimental attachment to places, as they are often where they grew up or raised their children. In The Power of Place Dolores Hayden argues, Understanding the history of urban cultural landscapes offers citizens and public officials some basis for making political and spatial choices about the future. By providing this basis, in the form of common understanding of the history of a community or neighborhood, planners and residents can make informed choices for future redevelopment and help the t wo sides to understand where the other is coming from when they make choices. While I do not believe that oral histories can guarantee that developers and residents will always see eye to eye, or even ensure that residents fundamentally agree with each oth er, I think that it is clear that the practice can offer some common ground. While oral histories can be useful, there are some concerns with using oral histories in redevelopment. Thomas points out that if oral histories are not structured they can becom e overwhelming for planners. She argues that those utilizing the method, be they planners, historians, or a community group, must employ a semi structured interview to ensure that they receive the most useful information for redevelopment
26 projects. 48 I foun d during my interviews that having some structure, especially in the beginning of the interview, helped the interviewees open up about the topic. The structured interview helps to keep interviewees on topic, which ensures that planners and developers gain information without overwhelming them with information that is not useful for the project. 48 June Manning Thomas, 50.
27 Chapter 4: Case Study When I started this thesis, I thought that my case study would be the Galilee Cemetery. I have come to realize that my case study is actually Newtown, which is the location of the aforementioned cemetery. The reason for this has to do with the nature of th e Galilee Cemetery Project, which is to organize it so that the cemetery can be placed on the Register of Historic Places, thus preventing the land that it occupies from being redeveloped. While collecting the oral histories for the case study, it occurred to me that a more revealing case study on Newtown as a whole could incorporate how these oral History of Newtown: Newtown is the primarily African American section of Sarasota Florida. The early Afric an American community was defined as being 10th Street to the north 5 th Street to the south U.S. 41 to the east and Orange Avenue to the west Sarasota was a growing city by the late 1880s and needed laborers a nd skilled workers, so special agents would go to Georgia and the Carolinas to find workers. The early residents of Overtown were the skilled and unskilled African American workers brought in by the se agents The men were typically employed on the rails a nd docks or in construction while the women were normally laundresses, cooks and maids. By the 1920s, Sarasota was a booming city and growth downtown pushed the African American community further north into Newtown. In 1914, Famous circus manager Charles Thompson had begun d evelopment of the area that would come to be known as Newtown A s defined by the 2002 Newtown Community Red evelopment
28 Area Plan, modern Newtown is bound to the south by 17 th Street the north by Myrtle Street the west by U.S. 41 and the east by the Seminole Gulf Railroad right of way. 49 Prior to the 1960s, s egregation in Sarasota presented an opportunity for entrepreneurship, first in Overtown and later Newtown. The fact that African Americans could not frequent businesses other than those owned by other African Americans fostered an environment that allowed many such businesses to thrive. Desegregation, which began with schools in the mid si xties in Sarasota, actually contributed to an economic downturn in the city. During segregation, upper and middle class African Americans had been forced, through processes such as redlining, to remain in Newtown. One of the elements that the CRA plan poi nts to as having contributed to this economic downturn is a loss of consumers, because as members of the community gained wealth they moved away. 50 While desegregation played a part in the economic downturn in Newtown, it was not the only factor. One impor tant factor was the creation of large shopping centers and which could often sell products for cheaper than local shops. Another factor was the strengthening of U.S. 41 and 301 as economic centers, through the widening of the two corridor s, which allowed for more traffic. As those two corridors siphoned consumers away from Newtown, business owners began to relocate their businesses as well. Money was subsequently lost by both local businesses and the city because of a decrease in both the number of consumers and the number of local businesses which decreases the tax base As the perception of a community in decline increased, more investors left or refused to invest in Newtown. All of these factors 49 Newtown Community Redevelopment Area Plan, 5, 29 31. 50 Ibid, 44 5.
29 contributed to economic decline, which e ffected in and was affected by a decline in both housing conditions and quality of life as well as an increase in crime rates. 51 It is in this context that the Coalition for African American Leadership pushed the city of Sarasota to work toward the improv ement of Newtown. In the year 2000, the city commission funded the Comprehensive Newtown Redevelopment Plan. They also extended the CRA to include Newtown and created the Newtown CRA Advisory Board, which I mentioned above. In my involvement in Newtown, I have found that many initiatives and organizations for improvement of the social and physical environment are started at the grassroots level. They may be taken up by the city, such as the Redevelopment Plan, but in these cases, it is because of push from the community. That is how the Galilee Cemetery project began. It began as a grassroots initiative, which finally pushed the city to become involved. Galilee Cemetery: The Galilee Cemetery is located on Washington Boulevard (US 301) between Martin Luther King Dr and Myrtle. Although the first burial is dated 1935, Shirley Walker believes that there is a deed from 1953. 52 Americans and white Americans were typica lly buried separately. 53 The lack of clear ownership meant that as it fell into disrepair no person or group had a clear responsibility to care for it. In 1999 there was a committee formed to clean up the Galilee and Oakland Cemeteries. The committee has si nce become the Task Force for Oakland and Galilee Cemeteries. 54 51 Ibid, 44 5. 52 Interview with Shirley Walker, 3/26/2010. 53 Uzi, Baram. http://faculty.ncf.edu/baram/Survey%20of%20Galilee%20Cemetery%202010.htm 54 Interview with Shirley Walker, 3/26/2010.
30 In 2009, Uzi Baram was asked by Cliff Smith to help the Taskforce for Oakland and Galilee Cemeteries, which had experienced difficulty in organizing and maintaining the cemetery. Professor Baram nomination for historical preservation, opening the door for grants and to raise the heritage profile for the graveyard. 55 He explained to me that a lot of the work would involve recording grave marke rs. My part of the project was to collect oral histories of Galilee Cemetery and to record grave markers. The purpose of the oral histories is to provide a history of the cemetery, which has never been written. I am collecting oral histories from people wh o have relatives buried in the cemetery, or who have been involved with the Taskforce for the Oakland and Galilee Cemeteries. Initially the Cemetery Board was going to handle recruitme nt of interview subjects, but due to scheduling conflicts I had to do m y own recruiting. I decided to use the snowball effect, asking one interviewee to provide me with other interviewees who then provide yet more interviewees and so on. I ch ose this method because oral histories can be incredibly personal and since I am a n outsider to Newtown, it is important to gain trust. I started by contacting community leaders by email, but found that responses were not forthcoming I then changed my tactic and decided to try talk ing to people in person starting at the Newtown CRA Ad visory Board meetings This did not work and taught me an important lesson about politics One member of the board took down my name and said he would try to get back to me, but I later realized that he owns one of the funeral homes that have historically buried people in Galilee Cemetery, and I learned from Shirley Walker that the funeral homes were not communicating or working with the 55 Email with Uzi Baram, 06/04/09.
31 Taskforce. 56 Needless to say, he never got back to me. After having had leads that turned up nothing, I talked to Professo r Baram and he recommended that I talk to Euline Myrick, the current sexton of Galilee Cemetery. He did not have contact information, but sent me an article on Mr. Myrick from which I learned that he worked with SCOPE, Sarasota County Openly Plans for Exce llence. It was through SCOPE that I got his contact information. Mr. Myrick also put me in contact with many other people, which was very helpful. I decided to use semi structured interviews, so while I did have a set of questions I did not require that participants strictly adhere to them I use d the questions to guide the interview back to the subject of the cemetery if the conversation beg an to stray. I also used photo elicitation during the interviews. Once the intervie wee stated the person they know who is buried in the cemetery, I first show ed them a picture of the cemetery and then of the grave marker to help stimulate the interviewee s memories. Photo elicitation can help to bridge the gap between the researcher and the subject a s it allows for a shared understanding between them While the researcher and subject may not completely see the pictures in the same way, it is a starting point. This was important for me, because my research subjects may not completely trust me. As I pre viously stated, I am an outsider here; I am a white college student in a predominantly African American neighborhood I believe that being able to refer to the photos was a good jumping off point towards a conversation with the interviewees. 57 I had expect ed photo elicitation to give the participants a place to start, and that they could tell me the history of the cemetery. What ended happening was that the 56 Interview with Shirley Walker. 57 Harper, 32.
32 participants, specifically Mr. Myrick, began to tell me how the cemetery came to look the way it does now. I was using a recent photo of the cemetery, and although they told me the recent history, within the past ten years, I found it useful. It was not what I expected, but as you will see, the history of the social aspects of the cemetery can be useful t o many agents in the redevelopment process. T ime constraints coupled with my initial difficulty in finding willing participants, allowed me the means to collect only two oral histories for this thesis: those of Euline Myrick and Shirley Walker. Both Ms. Walker and Mr. Myrick are on the Taskforce for Oakland and Galilee Cemeteries. As I analyzed the oral histories I collected, I realized that while they were rooted in a place, they also told the history of the Taskforce itself. cial relations and interactions that occur within a space are as important to place as the physical space itself. 58 Mr. Myrick and oral histories are of an organization that developed out of a desire to preserve a physical place, and so are nat urally rooted in place. They become important because they look at one aspect of a dynamic place. I decided that by looking at their histories as rooted in place, through the history of a social organization, I could understand both Galilee Cemetery and Ne wtown as dynamic places. Through the oral histories, I could understand how interactions and networks are rooted in place and how an understanding of that place, (in this case, Galilee Cemetery,) can help to influence positively community involvement in th e redevelopment of Newtown. Mr. Myrick is the current sexton for Galilee Cemetery and has been involved with the Taskforce since 2004, when it was only a committee dedicated to clean ing the cemetery. Mr. Myrick is currently retired from UPS. He does not ha ve any relatives 58 Gieryn, 465.
33 buried in Galilee C emetery or in Oakland Cemetery, the other cemetery that the Taskforce is working to maintain. 59 Ms. Walker was born and raised in Newtown and currently works at the Newtown Selby Goodwill Center. Ms. Walker has many relat ives buried in Galilee Cemetery, including an aunt, who is likely to have had a second body buried over her. 60 Both Mr. Myrick and Ms. Walker provide a great deal of history of the Taskforce and their involvement with the Taskforce, which can be useful for planners to understand how a place, and attempts to preserve said place, play an important role in community involvement. The role of a physical place in getting people involved in community engagement and civic action can be seen in the way in which Mr. M yrick came to join the Taskforce. Mr. Walker drove a UPS truck past the cemetery for a little over twenty years. He says, It was just dilapidated; grown up, garbage t was just a disgrace. I just felt that it being part of the community, and I set out t o try to give back and find out what I could do to help eliminate that. To do something about 61 His story shows that the physical environment plays an important role in community involvement; not just in providing people a space to meet, but sometimes in providing a reason and a goal for meeting and coming together as a community. For Mr. Myrick the physical place, Galilee Cemetery also stood as a representation of the social elements of the broader place, Newtown. Mr. Myrick told me, community. So t community upright and positive. 62 59 Interview with Euline. 60 Interview with Shirley 61 Interview with Euline Myrick, 02/2010. 62 Ibid.
34 As he observed Galilee Cemetery daily for twenty plus years, watching it fall into disrepair, he saw this as being a parallel to the situation in Newtown. The role of physical place not just as a means of bringing a community together, but acting as a representation of the social aspects of a place, is interesting to me. It means that planners and community groups can learn how people view the commu nity and the state of the community by listening to the ways in which people describe physical places and the state of that place. The Galilee Cemetery represents a responsibility of the community to its history and to the legacy of those who came befor e. The cemetery creates a sense of history for the community, because for Mr. Myrick those buried in the cemetery are members of the community. He explained to me, there, that th e people out there is their loved ones, and that they deserve a decent resting place. And we as a community owe it to them, as a family and a community to keep that resting place looking good. 63 The responsibility to the physical space stems from a respons ibility to the community and to the members of the community who are buried in the cemetery and their living relatives For Mr. Myrick the physical space is incredibly important to community on multiple levels, including as a means to bring the community t ogether, as a responsibility for the community and as a reflection of social aspects of the community. By listening to Mr. Myrick I began to truly see the role that place can play in the creation and maintenance of a sense of community. 63 Interview with Euline Myrick.
35 Ms. Walker discusse d community involvement to help clean up the cemetery. She explained to me, involved. We had 50 volunteers out there whenever we would schedule a cleanup. We had different Boy Scout gr oups, we had the Masons that were involved, and people from different congregations would come out, but at night. Okay, se meetings once a month. And was membership dues that was being paid. This was all for the upkeep of the cemeteries. 64 Ms. Walker revealed that people were dedicated to the maintenance of the Galilee Cemetery, which shows the importance of the Cemetery to at least some of the community. People not only went out to clean the cemetery, but they w ent to monthly meetings and provided financial support. While story about community involvement reveals the role of a place in bringing a community together, it also shows that a community can look inward to fix some problems. I believe that this can be empowering for a community, especially one that has seen decline. Newtown was declared a blighted community in 2006, which is what allowed it to be designated part of the CRA. Being designated a blighted community is not a positive designation, but the work that was done in the Galilee Cemetery reveals that communities can look inward to remove some blight. That is not to say that they can solve all of the social or physical problems, but ideally their actions can lead to involvement by city gov ernments. It was the commitment of the Taskforce and the members of the community that gave the city of Sarasota no choice but to improve 64 Interview with Shirley Walker 03/2010.
36 the cemetery. The city built a gate for the cemetery and does maintenance of the cemetery, such as mowing and landscap ing. 65 Unlike Mr. Walker Ms. Walker became involved in the Taskforce (when it was still a committee) through a co worker. Ms. Walker told me, I was in my office, which was right over there, and she [Carolyn Mason] says, 66 Space played an important role, although different from in Mr. Myrick Ms. Walker involved, in her case it was physical proximity to the the request of a co worker that got her involved in the committee. It is important to understand how physical space influences the way in which we engage our communities and the places in which we live and work. Ms. Walker works in the Newtown Selby Goodwill Center, which is an important space in Newtown for community wide meetings. Multiple groups, including the Taskforce, Newtown CRA Advisory Board and the Amaryllis Park Association, meet at the Goodwill Center. It becomes an impor tant space for Newtown as a place for people to build social capital through community engagement. While community involvement can build social capital there are reasons why people may choose not to become involved in the community. Ms. Walker explained one reason, I do what I can to help out, you know what I mean, but at the same time, even peo ple who are retired have a life; we have a life, working people have a life, and 65 Interview with Shirley Walker. 66 Ibid.
37 When I looked at t he city schedule for meetings in Newtown, there was an average of two scheduled a month, not including the Newtown CRA Advisory Board meetings or the city or county commission meetings. From my own experience going to a one to two hour meeting after worki ng a long day is not very pleasurable and I spend most of the even have a family or kids to look after I do not believe that there should not be meeting s but I think that they need to be structured so that th ey are productive. One way that this can be done is to better educate those going to the meetings regarding what the organization can do. In August 2009 when the Newtown CRA Advisory Board met, they had a representative from the police department come to speak on crime statistics. I came into the room only to find the seats that had been set out were full. The meeting went as it usually did, up to the point in the meeting designated for citizen input. I learned that there had been an incident wherein a police officer used what community members considered to be excessive force as well as a subsequent attempt to cover up the incident Residents were outraged and wanted the CRA Advisory Board to take action, not realizing that is not the role of the Advisory Board and that the board had no power in situations like that This is just one example of a meeting that was not only unproductive, but counter productive, b ecause people coming to the meeting were not aware of what the meeting was for and the goals and powers of the Advisory Board. It was counter productive because it left residents feeling as though they were not heard by the board, which was created by the city. I have found in the years that I have been going to CRA meetings and a charrette in Newtown that there is a distrust in the governments by the residents of the area. It is important to realize that some of the
38 distrust comes out of race relations in Sarasota. People at the August meeting made it clear that this was not the only negative interaction between the representatives of the city and a person of a minority group. Galilee Cemetery stands as a physical reminder not only of segregation, but of a lack of support for Newtown and the fight that Newtown has had to put up to get services that others have. The difference between Galilee and Rosemary cemeteries are physical reminders of racialized practices in Sarasota. Ms. Walker also revealed another reason that prevents people from becoming involved in the process of redevelopment, which is that often people do not want to deal or do not know how to deal with the politics and bur eaucracies that are involved Ms. Walker told me, I must say over the ten numbers and leave. And I think that most people that are a little bit older than I am knew all about that stuff. See I never got involved in the ommunity person; I like to get involved; I like to help out. When its politics involved, all the other stuff, even though I know it takes all of that to get to where What was interesting was that for her there is a distinction between political involvement and community involvement. While she acknowledges that politics are necessary, it is c lear in her language that she does not trust political action to get things done. She said, down. It is important for planners, developers, and city bureaucracies to understand how they are viewed by leaders and residents of a community. It is hard to get people to participate if e first part of her quote
39 reveals some of her own distrust of outside organizations. It is the same distrust of outside organizations that claim they are going to help Newtown that I have observed in meetings for the Newtown CRA Advisory Board. While I don to remedy this deficit of trust, I do think it is important for anyone trying to help redevelop Newtown and communities like it to recognize and understand the reasons for it for. Ms. Walker revealed a power struggle between the funeral homes and the Taskforce. The struggle over control of both burials and money, families pay a fee to have their loved one buried in the cemetery and the fee goes to upkeep of the cemetery, is important not just to the histories I collected but to t he future of the cemetery. Ms. Walker discussed the recent ending of burials in the Galilee Cemetery, unless the individual being buried had a pre purchased plot. It was here that she explained to me what was occurring. She said, Galilee had space, but we had said no burials take place. You need to go through the sexton before you can bury anybody. And that has not happened, not all the time. Since he, Euline Myrick, was elected sexton last May, I believe he may have okay maybe five that funeral home director s between the both of them [Chandler and Jones] that have approached of burials from May up until December of last year. 67 The lack of communication to the Taskforce is important, but by not asking for permission from the Taskforce the funeral home directors are not recognizing the funeral home s are local to Newtown. Mr. Jones sits on the Newtown CRA Advisory Board as a local property owner. The conflict over control of burials at the cemetery is not a conflict between the community and an outside group, but a conflict between two 67 Shirley Walker, Interview 3/26/2010.
40 groups within the community. It is important to note that from Ms. Walker I learned that there is a fee to have a loved one buried in the cemetery, which goes to upkeep of the cemetery, but it is a financial aspect that complicates the conflict of control over the buria ls in the cemetery. Through their oral histories Mr. Myrick and Ms. Walker tell us the importance of individuals becoming involved in their communities, and of places for those communities to come together. Mr. Myrick became involved in the community beca use of the state of a physical place that he passed daily for years. This physical place was representative of not only the community but of the responsibilities of members of the community. Shirley focused much more on the social aspects of the cemetery c lean up and the role of the Task force. What both reveal is the importance of place in community involvement, both on an individual level and a group level. The community is truly taking ownership of the cemetery by showing that it plays an integral role i n the maintenance of a sense of community and in community action. That being said, there are different voices within the community, which can be seen in the conflict between the funeral homes and the Taskforce. Understanding that the members of communitie s may have different desires and motivations is important. This is where oral histories can help to illuminate these motivations and desires, and may help groups to see how by working together they can meet there own desires. The oral histories will have limits in the ways in which they can be used, because they focus on a specific place. There is hope within the community, specifically expressed by members of the Galilee and Oakland Cemeteries Taskforce, that the cemetery will be placed on the Register of Historic Places, and if it is placed on the list
41 then it can not be redeveloped. It can be cleaned up, but not changed. The other limit is in my own sample, I only managed to collect interviews from two people, both are on the Taskforce, which means I hav e a limited sample of opinions. My oral histories represent a history of a single social organization, which is place based, but to more fully understand the history of the cemetery it is important to collect histories that tell of differing aspects, such as the history of the physical place.
42 Conclusion: Place based oral histories can provide a great deal of information for various agents in redevelopment, including planners, architects, developers, residents and community organizations. They can provide information on social networks, the uses of spaces and buildings, and issues or concerns of residents. This may not be common knowledge, especially for planners or developers, who do not live in the community in which they are working. They are also a way for a community to define itself and its history. They are an organized means by which a community can build both social capital and civic capacity, but oral histories are underutilized. Bottom up planning is one of the legacies of Ja ne Jacobs and oral histories can be used to ensure that people have a voice in what happens in their communities and that they are not displaced. Gentrification has displaced populations not only physically but is has done so in the history of places. I be lieve that oral histories can be a way for a community to define their own history and for planners and developers to learn the history of a place. When planners, developers and a community have some common understandings it allows for some level of trust to be built. I do not believe that it means that no conflict will arise, because places and histories are always contested, and not every member of a community want the same thing, but if there is social capital then people may at least work to common good s even if only to benefit themselves. As I carried out this research, I found that there was a gap in the research on the use of oral histories in planning and redevelopment. While I found some studies, such as l histories in urban planning it was not an easy task and often took interpretation. I learned a great deal through the oral histories I
43 collected and the process of finding interviewees. Much of what I learned was on the social dynamics surrounding the ce metery. The history of the Taskforce and of Mr. histories. I also found that physical place is important to getting the community involved. I am not sure how this can be us ed, because people can not necessarily rebuild MLK, but the story of the Taskforce can be empowering and show people that they can work to change physical spaces. I learned, sometimes the hard way of making missteps, of social and power dynamics in Newtown that I did not know. Although I had spent a lot of time in Newtown and had gone to many community meetings it was interesting to trace soci al organizations and to learn ab out local politics. I hope that my wor k on this project is just a starting place. In the future, I would like to work on collecting more oral histories for a project of this nature. There is also a lot of work to carry out in Galilee Cemetery. Although the survey of the markers is nearing an e nd, there are many oral histories to collect, especially histories that are of the physical place and not just the social space. Like Ms. Walker con tinue to play an important part in Newtown.
i Work Cited: The Public Historian. Vol. 13, No.4 (Fall 1991); Regents of the University of Berkley. Ballon, Hilary and Kenneth T. Jackson ed. Robert Moses and the Modern City: The Transformation of New York New York: W.W. Norton and Company, 2006. Baram, Uzi. E mail to author. June 4, 2009. -dies: Survey of the Galilee Cem 2,2010. http://faculty.ncf.edu/baram/Survey%20of%20Galilee%20Cemetery%202 010.htm Florida Redevelopment Association: 2003. (2000), pp. 463 496. Halpern, Robert. Rebuilding the Inner City New York: Columbia University Press, 1995. Visual Studies, Vol. 17, No. 1, 2002. Hayden, Dolores. The Power of Place: Urban Landscape as Public History. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1997. The Anthropology of Space and Place Ed. Setha M Low and Denise Lawrence Zuniga. Malden: Blackwell Publishing, 2007. Revi Jacobs, Jane. The Death and Life of Great American Cities New York: Vintage Books, 1961. Kaufman, Ned. Place, Race, and Story: Essays on the Past and Future of Historic Preservation New York: Rout ledge, 2009. and Contemporary Problems Vol. 25, No. 4, Urban Renewal: Part 1 (Autumn, 1960), pp. 777 792.
ii Barbara Little. Historical Archaeology: Why the Past Matters Left Coast Press, 2007. Myrick, Euline. Personal Interview. February 2010. Oldenburg, Ray. Oliver, J. Eric. Democracy in Suburbia Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2001. Pastor, et al. Regions that Work Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2000. Ritchie, Donald A. Doing Oral History Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003. elopment Agency Advisory Board http://www.sarasotagov.com/InsideCityGovernment/Content/CAC/AdvisoryBoar d/ADVBRD NCRA Members.htm about Oral History, ed Thomas Charlton, Meyers and Sharpless. Lanham: Altamira Press, 2008. Sommer, Barbara W. and Mary Kay Quinlan. The Oral History Manual Plymouth: AltaMira Press, 2002. Readings in Urban Theory ed. Susan S. Feinstein and Scott Campbell. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing, 2002. Planning History, Vol. 2 No.3, 2004, pp. 50 70. Walker, Shirley. Personal Inter view. March 26, 2010. Annual Review of Sociology Vol. 13, (1987), pp. 129 147,. Loft Living: Culture and Capital in Urban Change New Brunswick, New Jersey: Rutgers University Pres s, 1989.