The New Homestead
The idea of the homestead is a long mythologized part of the American dream and residual of the empowerment that land ownership brought in the new world. The homestead encapsulates the hybrid problematics black farmers and black landowners have faced in the United States following emancipation.
The site of this project is the Lewis Family Homestead which was recently lost to a loophole in heirs property law after being held in the family for 125 years. This contemporary form of erasure can only be combated by reconceptualizing how members of the Black and rural community can securely and powerfully form a relationship with land in a post reparation America by tackling another “final frontier” of the American diaspora, “The New Homestead”.
The New Homestead leverages the contemporary reality of global urbanism, adopts the advantages of density, and seeks to create economic, spiritual, and heritage based value. Above all The New Homestead clings to the idea that Homesteading is an ideological endeavor and the methodology of the Homestead reinforces or weakens this ideology. The New Homestead learns from the long history of homesteading, takes from the current political and socio economic realities, and is a radical new way of living on the land