The “Period of Significance” Trap
How do we break through some of the traps historic houses place on themselves?
Best year ever?
Last night, while catching up with a fellow nonprofit friend, she said to me: “All that shit you’ve gone through over the last few years is turning into manure!” Now, she works for a garden, so these kind of metaphors are natural for her. But I do love it, and it may be a new…
Preparing for the hard stuff
Over the past few weeks, I’ve been thinking a lot about intimacy at the workplace. No, not THAT kind of intimacy, but rather emotional intimacy. Think about it: these are people that you spend a very large chunk of your life with. But have you ever been emotionally vulnerable in front of your colleagues? Have…
Credit where it’s due
This past summer, I was asked to join a City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs task force regarding contextualizing the Confederate symbols scattered around Fair Park. We would also be discussing a memorial to Allan Brooks, victim of Dallas’ most notorious lynching. And then I went into panic mode. Like any good public historian,…
Finding balance in the archives
I abhor a mess. But for most of the last month, my dining room table has looked like this. As an executive director, I do an enormous amount of writing–grants, emails, newsletter articles, and blogs. But I had almost forgotten how historical writing stretches your brain in entirely different directions. It was almost like my…
I don’t know where to start
When people ask me: “What’s going on at DHV?” my standard reply has become: “Where do you want me to start?” It’s partly a joke, and partly a way to gauge what they’re actually interested in (or if they’re just being polite) and partly the honest truth: I just don’t know where to start.…
Variations on a Theme: African American History at 3 Museums
About 30 minutes into the tour, my parents started giving me the side eye. That look that says “Why on earth did you think this would be a good idea?” and “How much longer must we suffer?” I avoided their gaze. I wasn’t too thrilled either. We were at the Whitney Plantation, just outside of…