Week 5 Question

Kaufmann’s book states that (although still a work in progress) African American issues have earned “significant interests and support” in areas of heritage preservation compared to other minority ethnicities, particularly Filipino and Mexican groups. Kaufmann also pointed out that a significant component of the cultural heritage of these groups lies in oral history (an intangible object), rather than the built fabric. Intangible objects/values can be difficult to assess (thus are often overlooked) because they are not fixed within a medium. This breaks away from traditional notations on what should be preserved. I thought the examples given in the text —Florida combining their historic preservation and folklife departments together and Michigan’s efforts to include folklife as an integral part of the community’s history— were good strategies to spread awareness of intangible objects and their equal importance to built fabric. Are these policies that other municipalities and states have utilized? And if not should they be? Also with the Hispanic minority quickly becoming the majority, how will current attitudes on how and what should be preserved change?



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