My week of orientation to the Louis Armstrong House Museum fellowship has been an insightful glimpse into the both wonderful and challenging projects that lie ahead. Out of the gate I was made to feel at home and to be part of a team that continues to honor the legacy of Louis Armstrong while fostering the intellectual development of both myself and fellow cohort.
I believe that the LAHM fellowship will be one of the most unique experiences I have yet to encounter, as I will split time between two different sites. The archives which are currently held at the Benjamin Rosenthal Library at Queens College and the historic Louis Armstrong House are two sides of a coin that have different needs yet coexist to give a full spectrum of public humanities. This fellowship embodies multiple aspects of my academic research interests and ultimately provides practical work experience into the area I seek to pursue beyond an academic setting. My interest includes but are not limited to culinary history, cultural arts, public history, African-American and African Diasporic history. Here at the archives, Louis’ love of music is on full display, along with his other interest in food, various arts and his keen awareness of documenting his legacy. This allows me to gain perspective into how life was for Louis both as a superstar and as a Black man travelling the world in the early to mid 20th century.
Not only do I look forward to all of the various opportunities that come with this incredible fellowship, I am excited to be here in New York City where I can explore the vast city and all of the many great things it has to offer. As a history major, the numerous museums, historic sites, libraries and research centers that the city hosts serve as icing on the cake for this amazing opportunity. I’m eager to continue to post to the West End Blog and share my thoughts and experiences throughout the LAHM fellowship.