Help Preserve Black History in Plano & Surrounding Areas

Hi! My name is Zara Jones, a Texan-born teenager that loves history, arts, culture, heritage & volunteering in my community. As a Girl Scout, I'm currently in my Senior year and decided to dedicate my Girl Scout Gold Award project towards preserving the rich history of the Black and African-American history as a resource for students and anyone curious in learning more about all people that worked hard to build our great country and local cities. 

As a bi-racial child, I've always been curious of the contributions of all people, specifically Black people. Growing up in Texas, I've learned a lot about Texan history, but I haven't learned about Texas history that reflects the contributions of Black Americans. 

Recently, I learned about the significant contributions of the founding Black families of Plano, Juneteenth, and other pieces of heritage that I wish I would have known sooner. I also l
earned about pieces Black heritage that every Black family should celebrate, but most don't know about. How is it possible that kids like me that are curious to learn about ourselves and the history of America are only able to learn about a small percentage of history? I don't want to limit history to only represent some people, I want to learn about all people! My hope is that all people that know, share and have information about Black history can step forward and share their knowledge so we can document pieces of history for future generations to celebrate, learn, support and acknowledge the contributions of all Americans. Today, I want start a journey of learning about our Black history first. 

So how are we going to combat this #MythOfAbsence together? The myth of absence is the concept that "if we are not talking about it NEVER happened". I believe that all Americans should help combat the myth of absence because if we don't, we will never truly know our history, culture and heritage as Americans. 

Now that you've read why I believe this project is so important, I hope you will join me in researching, curating, and compiling the lost, undiscovered and underrepresented history of our great country starting in Plano, Texas! Take a look below to learn how you can get involved! 

How can you contribute? 

You can submit videos, oral history, sound bites, art, images, recipes, generational story, pictures and descriptions along with any artifacts through this Google Form. *If your content is selected for the project, you will receive full credit for your shared contribution, however I cannot guarantee that all submissions will be included. 

Who can submit a piece of history? 

Anyone can submit a piece of history from any part of the world! 

What type of content should be contributed towards the project? 
This project focuses on the contribution of all Black and African - American people including people with Black or African - American ancestry/genealogy. Content can include videos, songs, recipes, paintings, plays, oral history, sound bites, art, images, recipes, generational story, pictures and descriptions.

When will this exhibit be available to the public?

The online museum will be available February 2021 in honor o Black History Month. Content Contributors & Supporters will get early access to the exhibit in December 2020 and will be invited to join the online & safe socially distanced celebration. 

What other ways can you support?

The online museum will include online activities and features to ensure the resource is available globally. Here are some ways you can support the cause: 

  • Spread the word by sharing THIS page 

  • Tag us on Social Media #MythOfAbsence and #BlackHistoryIsAmericanHistory so that I can find content quickly and include it into the exhibit 

  • Do you know someone that's making significant contributions, trailblazing or influencing others to improve the lives of Black American? We want to know about them! Please complete this Google Form

  • Contribute $$ up to 11/15/2020 towards the online museum that will pay for website, hosting, images, editing, other other expenses for the online resource. Payment can be submitted via Venmo to @ZaraMJ OR CashApp to ZaraMJ up to 11/2020. Please know that I will not be able to any funding after 11/30/2020

  • Make an introduction to help me connect with other collaborators and history makers by emailing zara.mjones@gmail.com

  • Tell your school, teacher, coaches, friends, mentors and everyone you know about it and save the date for 2/1/2021 for the official launch! 

  • Contact the media & press and let them know we are doing this so that we can inspire other communities and cities to do the same! 

Got some ideas?

I'm all ears! Let's collaborate! Email me (zara.mjones@gmail.com) and let's setup a time for a virtual meet and greet with me and my team! Anytime after 2 PM CST works best for me! 

What are some key dates? 

  • 11/1/2020 - Content submitted in time for kick-off 

  • 11/23/2020 - Exhibit Preview 

  • 2/1/2020 - Exhibit Launch 

Thanks again for your support! 
Zara M. Jones (Girl Scout Troop 3461)

©2020 by Zest of Life w/ Zara. 
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