New Media

  • Black Architects Archive
    Jay Cephas

Photographer unknown, Ethel Madison Bailey Furman (1893–1976) with fellow architects at the Hampton Institute’s “Negro Contractors’ Conference,” Richmond, VA, 1928. Courtesy the Ethel Bailey Furman, Papers and architectural drawings, 1928-2003, Accession 41145. Personal Papers Collection, Library of Virginia, Richmond, Va

The Black Architects Archive (BAA) collects and displays the work of Black architects across history in an effort to bring to light underrepresented practitioners in architecture. By making the works of Black architects easily accessible and publicly available, BAA foregrounds architects who have otherwise been overlooked in history, thus opening their lives and works to greater scholarly inquiry. Bringing these underrepresented architects to light helps to change the kinds of research into architectural history that is done. Thus, by extension, BAA serves as an important resource for diversifying the curriculum within architectural education by making it more inclusive and representative.

Jay Cephas is a historian and theorist of city planning and design at Northeastern University where his research investigates the relationships between technology, identity, and spatial practices. Cephas recently served as a 2019 W.E.B. Du Bois Fellow at the University of Massachusetts Amherst where he undertook research examining the encounter between racial difference and the history of urban theory by positioning W.E.B. Du Bois’ maps and diagrams of Black urban life as analytical objects that shifted scholarly inquiry away from the physical bodies of Black people and towards the social body of Black neighborhoods. His forthcoming book, Fordism and the City, delves into the “structuring structures” of industrial urbanism by analyzing the agonism entangling technical systems, labor practices, and urban imaginary in early twentieth century Detroit. Cephas currently serves as a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Architectural Education.