The mission of Bull City 150 is to invite Durhamites to reckon with the racial and economic injustices of the past 150 years and commit to building a more equitable future. We believe that history is a powerful tool of meaning-making, and that the stories we tell each other impact the policies we create and the ways we come together to address the challenges in our community today.
Bull City 150 uses public history exhibitions to do extensive community engagement and to facilitate educational opportunities, deep dialogue, and a collective reckoning about how we got here and what is needed to ensure a that we do not repeat the mistakes of the past. We encourage visitors to make a personal connection to the past, gain a deeper appreciation for the impact history has on the present, and question their own role as history-makers.
Bull City 150 focuses on one geographic area (Durham City and County) from colonial times to the present. Using the interdisciplinary tools of history, geography, public policy, sociology, and documentary research, the project develops vivid descriptions of the origins of race and class disparities in Durham and how they have evolved over time. Local history, populated by familiar people, geographies, institutions, and landmarks, is a powerful teaching tool for describing how racial and economic inequality was built and sustained. Local history is also uniquely suited to explore the interplay of structural forces, institutional decisions, and individual actions.
A particular focus of BC150’s public engagement is to grapple with inequality as a relationship, whereby some groups are structurally advantaged over time, and others disadvantaged. In order to do this, Bull City 150 highlights the historic role and evolution of white privilege, which is often left in the background of historical narratives. We also feature stories of individual resistance and community organizing by those most negatively impacted by structural inequality- namely working class people and people of color.
Bull City 150’s first major public offering is a travelling public exhibition titled Uneven Ground: The History of Housing and Land Inequality in Durham, NC. To request hosting the exhibit, or to request a presentation and/or facilitated discussion of the content of Uneven Ground, and how this history impacts the present housing challenges in Durham, please contact [email protected]
Education is a source of freedom and power. But who has access to education, how resources get distributed, and what kinds of ideas will be taught have always been political.
As those who have inherited the Durham of today, we must ask ourselves: How has the past shaped current education divides? What does the struggle for educational equity look like today? What world are our choices creating for the next generation?
Bull City 150 will launch The Schools We All Deserve: The Struggle for Educational Equity in Durham, NC from 6:00 – 8:00 pm on May 31, 2019 at the WG Pearson Center, located at 600 E Umstead Street, Durham, NC 27701.
Note: parking for the WG Pearson Center is located off of Spaulding Street.