"Underground Railroad: Hiding in Place"
by Amani Willet
Amani Willet is a photographer that examines who takes an interesting approach in examining history. He doesn't examine history as it was portrayed, rather he examines his own personal history in context to our national history. Through this he determines that we have no control over what is real and what is deeply considered. At this point he brings into question whether historical inaccuracies and misconceptions are important to recognize or not.
In the project "The Underground Railroad: Hiding in Place", Amani dives into the history of the underground railroad.
Here is Amani's thoughts on the project:
"The images in “Hiding in Place” could be considered a family history of sorts. My mother is black and my father white and were both raised as Quakers – a religious organization whose members were deeply invested in the abolitionist movement. It’s, therefore, no surprise that the history of the Underground Railroad is of great interest to me. While the project began as a personal exploration, it evolved into an investigation of the way history, memory, and mythology have been etched into Underground Railroad sites. These places have become disconnected from their past yet still carry the legacy of shameful societal atrocities and stories of remarkable personal courage."
"Time has the ability to bend the truth. As the years have passed, the mythology of the Underground Railroad has grown; some original accounts have become exaggerated, overshadowed by our fascination with mystery and easily digestible history. This bothered me at first, but I’ve come to believe that the way we, as a society, have chosen to remember or reconstruct our past is just as informative and important as the truth."