Volume 7, Number 3, 1998

Childhood places

Under the auspices of UD's Center for Historic Architecture and Design, graduate student Patricia Knock of Woodbridge, Va., and senior Tari Mitchell of Owings Mills, Md., prepared an exhibit this spring featuring the personal geographies of three Wilmington African-Americans. Titled "African-American Places and People," the exhibit in the Wilmington (Del.) City-County Building includes oral histories of three individuals who grew up in Wilmington in the '30s, '40s and '50s. Using their childhood memories of the neighborhoods, schools, stores and trolley or bus routes, colorful maps of the changing city and its buildings were created. "We asked people to describe their personal world from childhood up to high school," says Knock, who expects to complete a master's degree in historic preservation next year. "They described for us the houses they grew up in, who their neighbors were, how they walked or rode to school, and we re-created these buildings and routes on maps." The exhibit is part of the center's ongoing African-American historic and cultural resources project for the mayor's office.