Feeling Through History

History is a very open word, as it implies the past, yet we live it every day. It is the small everyday things such as living in a farm home or walking the streets or even taking the bus as well as large events such as riots and wars. Some people in our lives have had the pleasure of living through great history, and some have been unfortunate enough to live the worst of the worst.

There are few who have stories about the Los Angeles riots who can go into detail about those chaotic moments, and some who can feel it in the streets. For example, I have had the pleasure of going to high school right around that area. I had heard of the riots, but never understood their importance. I walked those streets thinking they were always tagged, wrecked, and harsh. In this course I have learned otherwise and now I see that what I was seeing was the damage historic events caused, but never had the chance to recover. You can feel the tension in the streets, see the distrust in the community’s eyes when a stranger walks the streets. They stick together, but don’t take kindly to strangers. The small everyday things are just as important as the big events.

Kalamazoo was a pioneer town filled with farmers and prominent looking to the future for schooling and businesses. People such as Dr.Fletcher Meome whom Nicholas brothers, a wealthy family, purchased for the community to use his services; Mr.D.J.Pierson an owner of properties like Bronson Park and American Hotel, which provided haven for the communities; and Marcus B. Hounsom who commissioned(Durant,S.W.,1993) highways and helped build Kalamazoo into the amazing city it is today. Much of the history still lives in the streets whether it be through the fields, agriculture, architecture, or the people Kalamazoo still feels like a pioneer town, mixed with a college town as well.

These are two examples where much history was made yet still have the longing resemblance to its past. Does this mean in a few years if the city changes into flying cars and such, will everyone feel or act the same? Do people have a proper “recovery” time for a community or place? These are important things to consider especially now given we are in probably the most momentous part of history as a globe as we are all simultaneously experiencing a pandemic and all trying to recover. Will we walk in the shadow of this pandemic, or will we be under a previous light. In the positive spectrum, people will hopefully be more clean and cautious. On the negative side, will human intimacy and interaction be even more distanced than before the pandemic? We were growing apart before due to phones, perhaps it will encourage us to take advantage of socializing. History of all levels of importance are impactful on communities even after many years, the sense of events still remains in small towns like Kalamazoo and large cities such as Los Angeles..

Durant, S. W. (1993). History of Kalamazoo County, Michigan: With illustrations and biographical sketches of its prominent men and pioneers. Salem, MA: Higginson Book.

These are some images that can help with the feeling that history still remains. The last three are of Los Angeles and the first one is of Kalamazoo in the old times.



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