This paper aims to define Preserve Black Space through a multidisciplinary approach focused on the built environment, transportation and cultural landscapes. Ethnographic observations and interviews are used to direct research and inquiry. There are reasons and ways to Preserve Black Space identified through each vignette. The impacts of the built environment and mobility on Black Space is recognized as a significant part of the historical narrative in the construction of cultural landscapes of Black working and Black historic communities. The case for the decolonization of the history of Atlanta is expressed in these narratives about bicycling and pilgrimage.
In conjunction with her research, Nedra Deadwyler has organized a series of public activations around the Atlanta BeltLine that focus on historic preservation as activism.
At each site, she will have invited legacy and other residents participate in a show in tell style storytelling pop-up. Organized in partnership with Civic Bikes and Atlanta Black Archives Alliance, a conservator will also be on hand to discuss how residents can preserve Black history in their neighborhoods and homes.
Nedra Deadwyler is a public historian from Atlanta. Her approach centers Black, Indigenous, POC voices in how we talk about place and history. She is the Founder and Principal of Civil Bikes, a preservation and heritage tour company, based in Atlanta, Georgia. She received a Master of Social Work from New York University, a Bachelor of Social Work from University of Georgia, and is in pursuit of a Master of Heritage Preservation at Georgia State University, (December 2020). She is a Fellow at the Center for Civic Innovation. She has published a chapter, Civil Bikes: embracing Atlanta’s racialized history through bicycle tours. (Routledge, 2016, Bicycle Justice and Urban Transformation: Biking for All? Edited by A. Golub, M.L. Hoffmann, A. E. Lugo, and G. F. Sandoval), book review, Whose Bike Lanes, a book review of “Bike Lanes are White Lanes: Urban Planning and Bicycle Infrastructure and Advocacy, and an article, “There is a Tremendous Untold Story of Black. People on Bikes” in Bicycling Magazine, August 2020. She has presented at conferences hosted by Active Living Research, League of American Bicyclists, and Intersections 2018. She recently started a consultation practice.