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SXSW Interactive 2016

East Avenue: Stories from Black East Austin

This session will feature African-American community leaders, researchers from the University of Texas and local filmmakers who have been collaborating on a digital storytelling project that uncovers the hidden histories of Austin's historic east side. This segregated East Austin enclave--once known as the 'Negro district'-- was created by city leaders in 1928. Throughout the 20th century the area was home to Austin's largest concentration of African Americans. However, with the onset of gentrification, the stories of longstanding east side residents are under threat of being lost. Find out what a team of digital storytellers is doing to preserve these stories.

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  1. How do we understand the legacies of Austin's segregated past, and how does segregation persist in the present?
  2. Why has Austin's Black population decreased so significantly, and how does gentrification square with the city's supposedly progressive reputation?
  3. What are some of the multi-media, digital storytelling projects that are being undertaken to preserve Austin's African Americans history and culture?



Eric Tang, Asst Professor, The University of Texas at Austin

Meta Information:

  • Tags: race, documentary, austin
  • Event: Interactive
  • Format: Panel
  • Track: Government and Policy
  • Track 2
  • Level: Beginner
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