• Art of the Matter
    Jamila Moore Pewu

Francesca Quintano, “United We Stand.”Paint on plywood. Pine Ave Long Beach, California. Photo: Jamila Moore Pewu

The murders of unarmed Black Americans, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd in spring 2020 sparked national and international protests. Their deaths were the latest in a succession of horrific acts of police violence and white supremacist vigilantism. While many took to the streets demanding justice in the midst of the pandemic, muralists, graffiti artists, and others created public art in support of anti-racism and Black lives that spanned buildings and city blocks. Their works serve as conscious reminders that Black lives cannot truly be valued and accounted for until Black history and Black experiences are fully integrated into spatial environments. Using crowdsourced data, this project documents and preserves these public art works in situ through a custom deep mapping platform that serves as both a repository, and a tool for helping communities critically engage the intersections of art, architecture, and spatial practice in the wake of these events.

Jamila Moore Pewu is a public and digital historian whose work explores how and why groups and individuals reimagine the spaces around them to create new urban futures. Moore Pewu is particularly interested in examining the concept of reimagining through the unique historical, geographic and methodological perspectives posed by African Diasporic communities past and present. As assistant professor of digital humanities and new media in history at California State University, Fullerton, Moore Pewu writes on digital humanities pedagogy, and frequently engages in digital public history including: directing the public digital humanities project Mapping Arts OC, and serves as cocurator of the exhibit: Restoration and Reunion: Reimagining Bridgeport’s Little Liberia Community, which was supported by a grant from the Graham Foundation. She is currently working on a manuscript that examines critical place-making in the Black Atlantic through a genealogy of the place-name “Liberia.”