This blog is for all. It is not a blog that seeks to curry favor or assign blame. There is no guilt associated with the things stated here. To the greatest extent possible, we strive to present factually through poetic prose, the emotional content of our lives and environment. We aspire to do so without hidden innuendo or resentment. Yet these things, many of which originate in painful experiences, are tender areas and emotions may leak through. It must. It is that emotional content which is the source of meaning for humans. What matters to you that do not care about or feel something for?
If you are reading this blog you should continue to do so. In it you may come to ponder what is meaningful to you. It may not be the same thing as what is published on these pages. These pages may, however, serve as a guide to discovering what your architecture should include and the qualities it must have to be meaningful to you. Sometimes it is hard to see our own choices because we are so entrenched in our perspective that we are blind to the possibility that it might be a choice at all. A fish rarely see’s the water it swims in. We do not see the biases and culture that we breathe. This blog may help you to see your choices more clearly and to appreciate the choices others have made or might yet make.
This blog’s comments will not make you an African American. It does not profess that everyone should accept the qualities discussed here as their own — not even other African Americans. Culture exists on many levels: Ethnicity, nation, region, city, neighborhood, block, family, profession and individual are just a few. The interaction of any person within these domains will eventually result in defining themselves as a culture of one. That individuality becomes the core of our identity. It is that identity that we want people to discover and value when we think of them loving us for ourselves. We don’t look for others to worship and adore us for any cultural stereotype at any level. Yet we want them to appreciate all the different identities we have in these varied domains. Architecture is a representation of shared identity. It starts with our humanity and extends through all the cultural domains listed above and more.
Jazz has fluidly become; latin jazz; Norwegian jazz; Japanese jazz; cuban jazz; new Orleans style jazz; smooth jazz; straight ahead jazz; be-bop; west coast jazz; and many more permutations. So too African American Architecture can encompass a wide range of cultures and be an influence to create expressions that are not yet dreamed of, designed, or built.
So what will your contribution be to the future of meaningful building? What is important to who you are? How will that be expressed? What can you learn from these discussions of African American Architecture about the Architecture of you?