Our first project rediscovers the meticulous record-keeping of Monroe N. Work. It is the most thorough map of the reign of lynching in the USA from 1834–1968.
Monroe Work Today specifically focuses on people of color murdered by lynching under a pretext of white supremacy. One of our studio’s primary goals was to create a comprehensive resource that is accessible to everyone. The website contains a narrative overview, an interactive timeline, and a map linked to a bibliography of over 60 scholarly sources. Unlike most academic studies, the project does not compartmentalize by region (such as the South or Far West). Rather, it is the first exhibit on the internet to connect scholarship about African Americans, Native Peoples, Mexicans, Sicilians, and Chinese immigrants together across the entire United States.
We designed Monroe Work Today to be clear & short enough to add as a homework assignment in any teacher’s existing lesson plan for the Jim Crow era. The first place for a reader to explore the map is around his or her own town: for example, a student in California would discover that stereotypically “liberal” areas such as Santa Cruz, the Bay Area, or LA are marred with dozens of lynchings. In this way the project makes real the relevance of local history to larger patterns of American racism.
This project was self-funded, directed, and produced by the studio.