T. DeWayne Moore, Ph.D. candidate in History and Executive Director of the Mount Zion Memorial Fund, will lecture on "The Fatal Dearth of Research in Contemporary Blues Tourism Studies" at noon on Monday, April 24th in the Faulkner Room.
The Mt. Zion Memorial Fund (MZMF) was always grounded—not in celebration of the blues— but in the contemporary experiences of African American church communities. By seeking out endangered historical sites and installing “permanent” testaments to the significant achievements of African Americans, particularly in regards to the cultural impact on popular music, the monuments of the MZMF stand in bold contrast to other, more prominently displayed symbols of the Lost Cause. Some of the most recent scholarship on blues tourism has been highly critical of the historical narratives associated with blues heritage sites, arguing that historic sites and museums tend to “intentionally leave out the African American lived experience.” Tourism studies, however, are replete with these basic, standard critiques, and the historical trajectory forwarded in recent scholarship silences important, independent initiatives and constitutes, in essence, another mythic narrative in the history of the blues.