PARTICIPATORY MAPPING GIS TOOLS FOR MAKING HIDDEN PLACES VISIBLE: A CASE STUDY OF THE TEXAS FREEDOM COLONIES ATLAS
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Freedom colonies are historic black settlements established by freed black men and women after emancipation. They exist all over the United States with a high concentration in Texas. Black Texans founded more than 557 independent rural communities between 1865 and 1930. Today, many FCs are unmapped and many disappeared from public records, maps, and memories. Furthermore, while a comprehensive database or an interactive map of FCs’ location and information is not available the location data for known FCs is scattered across various archives and agencies. The Texas Freedom Colonies Project is an evolving social justice initiative aiming to document historic black settlements names and locations as well as gathering information about community origin stories, cultural practices, and providing support to grassroots preservation groups and their planning activities. The Texas Freedom Colonies Project Atlas and Study is a digital humanities platform based on research and crowdsourced data about freedom colony place, heritage, and social geographic data in Texas serving as an interactive map and online archive in order to make them visible to policymakers, researchers, and descendants of settlement founders.
Biazar, MJ (Mohammad Javad) (2019). PARTICIPATORY MAPPING GIS TOOLS FOR MAKING HIDDEN PLACES VISIBLE: A CASE STUDY OF THE TEXAS FREEDOM COLONIES ATLAS. Available electronically from