Our archive and timeline barely scratches the surface, so we leave here a disorderly list of what we didn’t get to:
- Local resources require more time. The online archive of the BDH is spotty for the decades of the 1990s. There is no online archive for the local newspaper, The Providence Journal, so that paper needs to be surveyed on microfiche or film at the Providence Public Library.
- A quick glance at this archive would make it seem as if only college students were involved in protests. This would not be true. Here, Providence high schoolers have been incredibly active since the 1960s – and very active in the last few years, organizing as the Providence Student Union and successfully pushing for an Ethnic Studies curriculum. Their important work needs to be represented.
- So, too, have students at Providence College, at the Rhode Island School of Design. And their work intersects and reshapes the work of students on Brown’s campus in powerful and surprising ways.
- A comprehensive photo archive of student protest eluded us, and so much can be learned from photographs. Local resources (campus photographers, former students, the university archives, the BDH, and the Providence Journal) are considerable).
- We never had a chance – or even got close – to conducting interviews with former students and activists on campus or here in Providence.
- Expanding the definition for Black people who seek justice seems like should be integral to this project going forward. Campuses define rights in very unusual ways, and they offer those rights to a very limited number of students. There are bigger and more robust ways to think about justice and about Blackness.
- Our international timeline is not yet a substantial reference point, and that task, quite obviously, is an enormous endeavor. Besides perhaps the section on South Africa, the international timeline lacks important internal histories. It will be crucial going forward to not make the international timeline Americentric. Clearly, the continued struggled for Black freedom should not be underplayed and neither should American influence in pivotal years like 1968 and 2013. However, the international timeline should not be created with a lens that neglects the vast domestic struggles of Black folks in other countries.
- We hope that the syllabus page will continue to be updated to reflect the intense and ever growing institutionalized racism here and abroad. The media section of this page may need to be updated more frequently. We hope that future students working on this project will find as much significance in the role of the media in conveying Black student protests.
- We started this semester with an interest in solidarities, and in figuring out a history of moments of radical connection and possibility, but our longer timeline seemed to disrupt that effort. Solidarities fell apart. Radical connections were ephemeral. The promise of connection always seemed to vanish over time. We worried about that, but never really got to understand it.