Black American Spirit: Ridge Spring, South Carolina

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Juliet Irving (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
Web Site:
Cara Hagan-Gelber

Abstract: Ridge Spring, South Carolina is home to many black American families who have lived there for generations. My paternal ancestors, Irving and Lenons-Williams, are among a few of those families that created a tight-knit community united through their shared hardships and adversity. However, the history and stories of these shared connections is unknown to most of the community and as the eldest generation dies so does that knowledge. This research served as an opportunity to learn and reconstruct this history through sources such as microfilm newspaper records of the town, court documentation involving the community members’ who owned land, and personal narrative interviews from some of the eldest in the community. By looking through these lenses I gained a better contextual understanding of this history, which allowed me to piece together this community’s connection to the world and to each other. Artifacts from this research such as domestic objects, photographs, film, and sound were used in this installation as representations of the culture and livelihood of the community. This installation became a physical manifestation of the collective memory and spirituality of this community while also serving as an acknowledgement of the history.

Additional Information

Honors Project
Irving, J. (2019). Black American Spirit: Ridge Spring, South Carolina. Unpublished Honors Thesis. Appalachian State University, Boone, NC.
Language: English
Date: 2019
Black American, Community, Spirituality, Narrative, Installation

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