This summer I had the opportunity to revisit Perry House with Alexis. Since Perry House have been offline going on two years I did not know what to expect. In the former library there were some paintings along with other artwork that had been left behind. We did eventually go to the second floor and were able to look in the closets. In one closet we found books to be cataloged as part of the Black Cultural Center. Since our visit they have been taken to Canady to be added to collection currently housed in the Pensby Center. We also saw binders that seemed to have files from the different affinity organizations that once resided in Perry, which is exciting because it means that the College has access to more information to add to the history of Perry House.
I am happy Alexis and I were able to visit Perry House, and able to find more items to add to Black Cultural Center. Even though the house is not currently livable it is great to have as much history as possible in a safe, central location on campus to help preserve the history and experiences of minority students. I think revisiting Perry and finding more items helps to reinforce how integral this home was to the College community, not just to students of color. I think this visit, just like this internship, displays how the experiences of students of color should not be completely isolated from the history of the college, and should be as well-documented as other events and experiences. My hope is that this internship will help reveal and remind the College community of the importance of acknowledging this history.
Throughout the summer, Lauren Footman ’15 and Alexis De La Rosa ’14, the inaugural Pensby Center interns, will blog about their research projects. The Pensby Center (formerly The Office of Intercultural Affairs) implements programs and activities that address issues of diversity, power and privilege, including but not limited to race, ethnicity, country of origin, class, gender, sexual orientation, religious affiliation and disability, with a goal of improving the campus climate and enhancing community life at Bryn Mawr College.