Long-overdue Update

My hiatus is over!

After my rather nasty encounter with the great Canadian ground some number of weeks ago, I have been cleared as all but healed, with a full range of motion. And that isn’t all I have to report! Over spring break, I met with Jon Flanders, a longtime friend of my family and a very knowledgeable member of the local labor union community. Our lunch was very fruitful, as not only was he supportive of my project and willing to provide his photography of the strike, he was also quite helpful in shaping my thoughts for how I can better provide historical placement. Jon referenced me to a number of people to reach out to and similar regional labor conflicts to study, in addition to providing me with a wealth resource of original photographs taken at the scene of the strike, which will be the digital backbone of my relatively simple site. Although I do not think I will be interviewing the people to whom Jon referenced me due to the logistics of travel and the amount of time required, I could not have been more thankful for his willingness to vouch for my project.

As it stands, I still have a good bit of work to do; however, it is largely in the form of integration. The materials to complete the site are entirely at my disposal, by now I have probably spent more than enough time procuring newspaper articles and photographs. I merely need to assemble them in the cascade app, and thankfully I have not yet faced any difficulty in doing so (outside my injury), as the interface is exceedingly user friendly and intuitive. I anticipate having a malleable outline of the format of the site ready in time for Milestone 3 this week, which, I must admit, snuck right up on me. I blame the warmth.

Anyways, as planned, I intend to move through each aspect of the strike in chronological order, from the precursor conditions and previous benefit cuts right through til the end, paying special attention to how negotiations were flawed from the get-go, and what might have changed that fact. At the conclusion I intend to refer back to these moments in order to impart some tangible ideas about how such conflicts may be avoided or at least better-managed in the future (e.g., universal healthcare and open books). On that note, I could still definitely use some help thinking of other potential routes to go given the facts of the strike. I know I have my biases.

Anyways, with all that being said, I’m gonna go ahead and wrap this post up to go put some time into the cascade. ‘Til next time!

Second Interview Completed, Drafting NDO Conflict/Resolution Page

I began working earlier in the week to schedule an interview with a member of the MAP (Montevallo Acceptance Project) steering committee. Ms. Elaine Stephens, a notable member of the committee, was in contact with me and offered to do an e-mail interview. I sent her the questions we created and she was prompt in answering them. Since I am currently off campus for Spring Break, I will have to print and sign consent forms once I am back on campus. Thankfully she was able to sign and email her scanned consent form back to me along with her interview answers.

Today, I have been reviewing the documents I originally collected regarding the NDO. This includes mostly City Council meeting documents/minutes. Most of them are incredibly descriptive, and will make up the majority of the content on the page for the Conflict/Resolution. They detail dates of forums, panels, and comments made by constituents at City Council meetings, which allow for a better understanding of how this all came together.

I am hoping to have a complete posted draft of the page by later this evening, posted to the Progress & Resistance website under a new page. I feel confident that the chronological order of events will allow readers to understand the conflict from beginning to end. I am still searching for more information during 2017, as the majority of the conflict/resolution played out quickly in 2018, even though the initial NDO was proposed to City Council in 2016.

As for interviews, the only two interviews I have on hand now are Dr. Eckelman and Ms. Stephens’. We will have to reformat the interview tab, considering we do not have any opposition opinion as of now, and I don’t expect that we will receive any. We will be sure to note information which I found within the City Council documents.

I am working on interviewing Erin Green, a peer from the University who serves as the President of Spectrum (the University of Montevallo’s LGBTQ+ group). I believe his input will give a larger picture of the impact this NDO had upon the University student life.

I am so far pleased with the information I have been able to collect and will continue drafting throughout the day today, and tomorrow.

My only question for this week is this: If names are located within the (public) City Council documents, is it still okay for us to include these in the documents we post to the website? I obviously don’t want to target anyone in particular, but for instance, the names of City Council members in opposition alongside their comments in the public minutes records?

Hope everyone is having a good Spring Break (even though I know some of y’all have already had yours, hopefully it’s been a decent week for everybody!)

Janice Johnson Course Blog 2019-03-28 00:23:07

Okay… yesterday there was a story on the local news (Sacramento Channel 13) about creating a ban on hair discrimination in Sacramento! I was shocked in a good way because Dr. Welch sent me an audio interview from NPR Radio related to the same topic in New York (Feb 2018 or 2019) Listen Now: Why It Matters That New York City Will Ban Discrimination Based On Hair. Perfect Timing …both of these stories relate to my project! Food for thought.

Revised Project Contract as of 3/25/19

Janice Johnson – Sonoma State University
March 25, 2019

Rocking My Roots!

Revised Research Contract – Final as of 5:00pm

It is my objective to explore a level of institutional discrimination in America concerning a legal obstacle concerning how the State of California Barbering and Cosmetology Act violated the Due Process and Equal Protection rights of African American Natural Hair Stylists in California.

I will highlight the 1999 Sisterlock Court Victory that allows for Sisterlock Hairstylists and/or Braiders of African textured hair to no longer be required to spend (1,600 hours) and at least $5,000, at a government-approved cosmetology school in order to legally practice historical and contemporary African Textured Natural Hair styling techniques and designs. I plan use the California court case championed by Dr. Joanne Cornwell, founder of Sisterlocks(™) who challenged the State of California Barbering and Cosmetology Act, in reference to how it’s regulations violate Due Process and Equal Protection rights. Dr. Cornwell fought legally for the right to allow Hair Braiders and Sisterlock Consultants not to be required to obtain a cosmetology license to perform African Textured Natural Hair care services in California. Additionally, I will present information and images on the history of African American “Natural African Textured Hair” style images and styling practices that date back to Africa, and its progression throughout slavery until now.

My project mission is to bring awareness to the fact that institutional discrimination concerning the cultural practice of braiding and/or providing African Textured Natural Hair services (particularly Sisterlocks & Braids) existed in California until 1999. I will reference articles about wearing Braided Natural African Textured Hair and Sisterlock hairstyles positively influence the lives of African American Women, i.e., financial, political, social, and personal. I will also present written commentary, video clips, interviews, and picture images related to how wearing Natural Hair Styles including Sisterlocks can positively impact the self-image African American Women in the workplace, i.e., corporate/military. As well as, provide information on the number of States that have also won African Textured Hair Braids/Sisterlock Court Victories in the United States.

My intended audience is anyone interested in gaining insight into the California Sisterlocks court case, styling options and consultant locations. In addition, African American Women who want to own and manage a hair business, or wear their hair in a style that improves the condition of African Textured Natural Hair instead of damaging it with chemical relaxer products, covering it with wigs, and artificial hair extensions. As well as those people who want to learn more of the history of African and African American old/new hair braiding techniques.

Overall, the goal of project is to identify that discrimination existed in California concerning African American Natural hair practices. As well as, acknowledge that it was indeed an conflict in America when it came to Hair Braiders and Sisterlock™ practitioners being required to obtain a cosmetology license to provide cultural hair services, create hairstyles and provide hair business services that have been offered and operated within homes of African American people for years (sometimes at no cost). These services have beneficial to African American hair textures. It is important to me that others understand that African Style Braiding and/or Sisterlocking of African textured hair is culturally viable to the African American community and should not be regulated by any agency.

I plan to organize and present the information in a digital format including various mediums, i.e., posting court documents, videos, audio image to establish frames of reference. I will research issues (challenges/discrimination) that African American slaves experienced with their hair. I will also compare African American slave natural hairstyles with the hair styling techniques prevalent in today’s society. I will explore the irony of African American Natural Hair struggles that exist in America today in compare them to similar struggles experienced by African American women since slavery.

I will use MyGoogle maps to reflect the number of Sisterlock practitioners in California, and if I get time create another layer to show the number of states that have Sisterlock Consultants and Trainees. I may also create a timeline to show the history of African American hairstyling techniques since slavery, but will definitely present images.

The Word Press theme I have selected is Hyperbole, but I might change it before April 4. The layout will consist of a menu of options to view on the left margin that will allow the visitors to review other related news articles and media, i.e., YouTube videos.

I plan to post images/ photographs of Sisterlocks and braided styles. In addition, I want to check library archives Sacramento to check of related newspaper articles and or video clips that have circulated prior to 1999.

Bibliography – I plan to include a reference section on the website w/brief annotations

Milestones:

Feb 19 – Select Theme for Website/Create Block Headers -Done

Feb 28 – Confirm images and videos to be included on project site

Feb 26 – Complete all research for website, images, and articles

March 18 – Post some images to site /rearrange text blocks on site

March 21 – Work on website text/content

March 25 – 28 – Work on website text/content

March 29 – Complete all website text and narratives

March 30 – 31 I want to check library archives Sacramento/San Diego to check of related newspaper articles and or video clips that have circulated prior to 1999.

March 23 – April 1- Review website text/content

April 3 – Ensure at least 70% of content is posted to my project site

April 4 – Complete Draft of entire site due

April 5 – revise content after feedback

April 6 – 20 – update project site as needed

April 25 – Present Final Version of site to class

Distribution of Labor: I am working alone

3/24 – 4/4

There are two weeks remaining before a draft of the website is due. The following are my remaining tasks:

  1. The “main narrative” of the EBCI struggle with citizenship and disenfranchisement, running from the 1890s through to at least 1946.
  2. The story of Native American citizenship in the United States more generally, for the supplemental webpage on this subject.
  3. A supplementary map.
  4. Sprucing up the timeline with pictures/some manner of color theme.
  5. Refining the theme for the website, implementation of plugins.

By this Thursday, “Milestone 2.5” I intend to have drafts of the 20th century portion of the “main narrative” and the Native American citizenship supplementary page. By Sunday night I would like to complete the main narrative and produce a draft map. Between Sunday night and April 4th, any remaining tasks will need to be completed. I hope to fiddle around with the website as each of the preceding tasks are completed.

Milestone 2

By Milestone 2, as originally planned, I was supposed to have completed writing all the supplementary pages for the website along with ALL the research for the project. As it became clear that the information available on the Cherokee American Legion story was somewhat limited, that part of the “main narrative” receded in importance in my head, and the project seemed to be more about the story of EBCI struggles in the context of the longer history of Native American citizenship as well as in the context of the wider story of Native American disenfranchisement. As a result, I wanted to put more effort into the supplementary page on Native American citizenship.

So, my couple weeks before Milestone 2 were mostly taken up with either searching for information related to that subject, or reading the material I had found on that subject. I feel like I have an okay grasp on the wider history of Native American citizenship now, though the “story” of that citizenship struggle and the role played by the EBCI still needs to be written.

There are two main parts of the research that are still outstanding. One and a half, really. The specific EBCI history needs to be fleshed out somewhat, I think, which is the half. The other part is the history of North Carolina’s legislative efforts to disenfranchise minority voters. Poll taxes, literacy tests, etc. The Jim Crow apparatus that was used to restrict ballot access for EBCI voters after clear citizenship was finally clarified in the 1920s.

A followup post will outline how I see the next two weeks going, before the April 4th deadline.

Visit Recap

I went to the archives on Saturday instead of Friday so I wasn’t able to do a walk-in at the Archives with the photo specialist. The secretary however gave me his contact info as well as the archivist at the Western Regional Archives. I did however get some things downstairs at to the State Library where I got to look at microfilm and get copies of documents (which I’ll share sometime soon).

First Interview Completed

Kendall & I did our first interview with one of our professors, Dr. Eckelman, on Friday, March 14th, 2019. We found that some of the questions are a bit repetitive, but I think they serve their purpose in digging deeply into individual thoughts and opinions regarding the non-discrimination ordinance. Editing the audio was easy, there was only one portion of the audio which we redacted, and the cut is clear but not distracting.

Audio recording was done using a Tascam DR-05. The interview wound up being exactly 14 minutes after editing, which I felt was an incredibly reasonable amount of time for an individual to listen if they were interested. Editing was done on Audacity. Typing the transcript of the interview only took about 45 minutes, and the transcript does include some notes in brackets which allow for a reader who is not from Montevallo to better understand some of the language used by Dr. Eckelman. The only con about the audio recording is that it picked up every little bit of noise, and since this interview was done in an office adjacent to an elevator, at times you can hear the elevator moving in the background. I didn’t personally find it difficult to listen to, and not obnoxiously loud, but Dr. Eckelman does project her voice to allow for the audio to be as clear as possible, which was very helpful.

Dr. Eckelman also gave us some further resources for opposing opinions to the non-discrimination ordinance. She mentioned post-recording that she had taken pages of notes during the opposition panel (mentioned in the interview). We asked if she felt comfortable sharing them with us, at least to give us some context on what exactly happened (neither Kendall nor I were in attendance of the panel). She said she would look for the notes, but if not, she gave us some information on who to speak to otherwise. She did mention that many of the opposition panelists were from our of town or even out of state, making their opinions less salient in the context of the city of Montevallo’s cultural atmosphere. Regardless, we are still digging for further information regarding the opposition. It’s important to us that we present this in a more level-handed way.

Since Dr. Eckelman is a professor who both Kendall and I have a previous rapport with, she was easy to talk to and made the interview incredibly easy. This was such good practice for interviews with officials which we have not met before, especially in my case, since I’m typically incredibly shy. Pro-tip for interviews: talk to someone you’re candidly comfortable with before speaking to someone you aren’t! Everyone in Montevallo is very inviting and kind, so I don’t think we’ll run into many issues, especially since the questions are open ended and allow for endorsement or opposition.

The only thing which we were unsure of is if we needed a signed consent form from interviewees before posting their interviews online? Dr. Eckelman gave us express consent to use audio and transcript, and we do have documentation through messages with her, and we can always ask for her signature on a printed document as needed. This may have already been covered, but I don’t remember.

Again, this interview process so far has been incredibly positive and I’m glad to be gaining the experience. Dr. Eckelman hit on many of the points which we are interested in taking on in our project, and reinforced many of the ideas which we had discussed in putting together the narrative form of this conflict.

Overall, off to a great start on the most intimidating part of this project (interviews), in my opinion. Hope everyone is having a great weekend and will see everyone in class on Thursday! – Lillian