The Rememory Library is currently located in Ithaca, NY and explores Black residents' relationship to Indigenous Gayogo̱hó:nǫ' lands as one brimming with a rich and complicated history of revolution, restitution, repetition, and of course rememory. The language of rememory, gifted to us by Toni Morrison, speaks to the ways so many people cannot simply walk the land without coming upon traces of ancestors passed, whose presence has been deliberately erased, censored, or minimized. The Rememory Library is therefore a seance and a ceremony, a wake wherein the Living form community around Black revolutionaries and the places they built on the lands we continue to occupy. The Rememory Library's materials are both local and global in the ways they push beyond borders to consider Black histories as they diverge and intersect across the globe; it is a research tool for exploring the communal and liberatory possibilities that erupt when all of the pieces finally come together.
The Rememory Library began with two Cornell PhD students in collaboration with Ithaca High School and Ithacan community leaders, activists, and organizations, including the Southside Community Center, Black Girl Alchemist, the Greater Ithaca Activities Center, and Ithaca's Historical Walks Project. The goal of The Rememory Library has been to address students' demands for course materials that not only offer a more comprehensive engagement with Black writers, but also a more intimate history of their relationship to the lands they occupy and the history that sits in those places.
Our intentions are two-fold: to resist state censorship of Black history in the public school classroom, and to improve the quality and thoroughness of public knowledge by mapping the ties between Global Black histories and the places we call home.
Shacoya is a fourth year Ph.D. student in Literatures in English, a creative theorist, and a Fulbright alumna researching literature as cultural manifestations at the intersection of Black feminism and environmental thought. She studies the relationship between adverse atmospheric conditions and oppressive ideologies with specific attention to how Black people inhabit and subvert colonial conceptions of time and space. As cofounder of The Rememory Library, she hopes to examine the entanglements between narrative, the land, communities, flora, and fauna. Her work seeks to remember what has happened here as well as the hidden genealogies and cosmologies that will aid in our collective imagining of just, sustainable futures.
JESSICA DIAZ RODRIGUEZ
Jessica is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Literatures in English at Cornell University where she studies Contemporary African Diaspora literatures at the intersections of migration, citizenship, debt, spirituality, and the erotic. Her dissertation, titled "Erotic Errantries: Mapping Improvisation Migration and Freedom in the Americas"draws together Caribbean Studies, American Studies, Afro-Latinx and African American literature, and Black Queer Feminist Theory, “Erotic Errantries” shows how Black diaspora novelists, poets, and musicians create fugitive methods of navigating the socio-political topography of statelessness, debt, queer persecution, and forgetting that condition Black invisibility and exclusion from discourses of belonging. Borrowing from Lorde’s theory of the erotic and Glissant’s errantry, “Erotic Errantries” articulates a new set of cardinal directions (faith, care, relation, and memory) that inform fugitive wayfinding as a space-making and absconding practice.
THE REMEMORY LIBRARY