EYTE's Looking Back and Looking Forward Exhibit
In order to empower the youth in Brownsville, they must first learn about the community they come from. Most of the kids that live in Brownsville do not know much about the history of Brownsville outside of the headlines and new stories that are constantly being shown to them by the media. So in order to combat the negative stereotypes and educate our youth, EYTE launched the Looking Backward and Looking Forward project. EYTE brought together local youth, elders, and historians to develop and execute a two day public history and photography program beginning with a neighborhood walking tour and culminating with an exhibition of photography and writing on the topic of Brownsville's past, present and future. Local youth experienced the history of Brownsville through a specifically designed tour, during which they had the opportunity to use their own creativity to capture photographs of contemporary Brownsville inspired by historic images that aligned with each stop on the tour. This project allowed kids of all ages to take pictures of different parts of their neighborhood and perform intense research with local librarians to learn about the history of the part of the neighbor they chose.
That first day began with a tour of Brownsville where they drove around the youth around their community and with each stop they learned facts about certain historical landscapes and businesses. Next, they were given cameras and free to roam around to the area of their choosing to take pics of stores, parks or centers that they are interested in learning about. Then, the students visited the Brownsville Heritage House where they researched the place they chose and wrote a report that compared and contrasted their place from the past to the present. Lastly, the students photos were printed, laminated, framed and put on display as an exhibit at the Brownsville Heritage House, where it can be seen by Brownsville residents and any visitors. On Saturday August 17, 2019 EYTE had a photo exhibit gallery walk. This event was also a day to honor Stan Kinard a local community activist and the first Executive Director of Brownsville Heritage House.
Brownsville has a rich history, a history that it is not taught in school or in the community, and the youth have the right to know about and feel proud about the community they live in. The EYTE's Looking Backward and Looking Forward exhibit continues to be on display at the Brownsville Heritage House and EYTE hope's that people will continue to stop by to learn about a history that is often hidden.