Evolutionary biologists call interactors the individual traits that are so uniquely beneficial that they lead to natural selection. As my very first subscribers, you are my interactors – special individuals self-selected to be a part of an evolutionary journey. Thank you.
Winter is the season Interplace explores human behavior. How does our behavior influence our interactions with people and place? One element of human behavior is historicity – the attempt to uncover authentic history. Much of history is tweaked, skewed, and contorted to satisfy a narrative or maintain power. In Orwell’s 1984, it came from the ‘Ministry of Truth’:
“Who controls the past controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.”
At present, the planet is increasingly connected. Voices emerge that have historically been silenced. New platforms and audiences share alternative narratives and uncover authentic histories of people and of place. Of course, as we’ve seen, these same platforms can also propagate hate and false truths – often in fearful attempts to hold on to the past and power.
We also live in a time when generations of civil rights era children are earning PhD’s in history, publishing their own textbooks, and being awarded tenure. The times they are a changin’. And with it, our behavior and our own interactions with people and place.
“As many an architect will tell you, human behavior changes according to the environment.” – Peter Gabriel
I launched this newsletter on the first day of Black History Month. On the last day I’ll publish a piece on ‘The Geography of Whiteness’. In between will be weekly summaries of related topical blurbs as I inch my way toward the longer piece.
As you know, I’m a white dude. That’s what I know. So I’ll poke and prod at this color we call ‘white’ and this infliction we call ‘race’ in this country we call ‘America’. All through the eyes of my own ancestral heritage. It’s a unique interaction of people and place, and of race, I promise you.
What I’ve learned up to now has been fulfilling. May it inspire you to explore your own people in their own place.
“A race of people is like an individual man; until it uses its own talent, takes pride in its own history, expresses its own culture, affirms its own selfhood, it can never fulfill itself.” – Malcolm X
Thanks, again, for your enthusiastic support, Interactors.
You’ve warmed my heart. The journey has begun.