Streete and Harmon Receive the 2024 ARCC Research Incentive Award

Annicia Streete, assistant professor of architecture, and Brendan Harmon, assistant professor of landscape architecture, received the 2024 ARCC Research Incentive Award for their research investigating the burial grounds of enslaved African Americans and their descendants in the American South. The interdisciplinary project is in collaboration with Nicholas Serrano, assistant professor of landscape architecture at the University of Florida.

“The burial grounds of enslaved African Americans and their descendants are an invaluable, but a weakly preserved part of our cultural heritage,” Streete said. “In the American South, many of these sites on former plantations are undocumented, inaccessible, untended, or at risk of conversion into agricultural fields, petroleum refineries, or chemical plants.”

This project is the first step in a larger initiative to celebrate the cultural importance of African American cemeteries on former plantation grounds and will contribute to a larger public interest in preserving and highlighting the history of African American cemeteries, most recently culminating in the African American Burial Grounds Preservation Act of December 2022 (H.R. 6805 and S. 3667). Congresswoman Alma Adams noted that these sites both honor our ancestors and are important resources for telling our history. Cemeteries are significant spiritual and historical artifacts linking people and place to regional, national, and world histories.

“Preserving African American cemeteries memorializes past Americans, honors their descendants, and preserves an important historical record,” she said.

Annicia StreeteStreete is a multi-disciplinary researcher who studies Afrofuturism, focusing on heritage documentation and building technology practices within African Diasporic communities throughout the Caribbean, Latin America, and Southern Louisiana. She has exhibited at the Colorado History Center where she presented “Explorations in Afrofuturism” as part of the “Building Denver: Where Corners Meet” exhibition. Branches of her research include documentation using terrestrial and drone 3D Laser Scanning, and studies in Festival Architecture and Technology. Annicia serves as a co-chair for the EDUCATE pillar of the National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA) and is a founding member of the Colorado professional chapter of NOMA. She received a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering with an emphasis in Structures from the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology and a Master of Architecture from the University of Colorado, Denver.

Brendan HarmonHarmon, Ph.D. is a landscape architecture researcher with expertise in computational design, geographic information systems, and lidar and drone data analytics. His research interests include remote sensing for heritage conservation. Brendan has experience digitizing cultural landscapes using terrestrial laser scanning and unmanned aerial systems. He received a Master of Landscape Architecture from the Harvard Graduate School of Design, a Master of Philosophy in Geography and the Environment from the University of Oxford, and a PhD in Design from North Carolina State University.

They will be conducting fieldwork at sites including Alford Cemetery, Erwinville, LA (West Baton Rouge Parish).