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Barnard Reads: Undesign the Redline

This guide was made for Barnard Reads, a session held during New Student Orientation Program in fall 2021 by Miriam Neptune, Obden Mondésir, and Jenna Freedman

Gym Crow

You can judge a zine by its cover.

screenshot of zine cover: repeating image of 1950s looking, white appearing men crowded together. typewritten title in the center.

"What's the use of a 42-page thesis with 8 pages of endnotes if nobody actually wants to ever read it again?"


Can you share a quote or graphic from the zine that you resonated with or want to challenge--or caused any other reaction?


How does reading this information in zine form--handwritten annotations, collages, first person narration, etc. impact your absorption of the material? How does the form illuminate the content?

What are your responsibilities to the Morningside Heights and surrounding communities if you are a temporary resident here?

screenshot of the text, "According to institutions like Columbia, urban renewal would "better" the neighborhood. If you were a member of the community, not a Columbia development advocate, that often meant something wildly different. More often than not, "improving" or "rehabilitating" neighborhoods like Mommgside Heights meant claiming urban land from communities of color, evicting them from their homes and apartments, and whitening the neighborhood." and a "new and improved" logo with "for who" handwritten under it

What does "better" mean and for whom does it mean that?

screenshot of page with a paragraph that reads, "That description resonated with the way residents of Momingside Heights and West Harlem had been treated by majority-white institutions like Columbia: as an internal colony. Police forces maintained surveillance over the neighborhood and served to protect white bodies and property, and : employed by institutions like Columbia to control communities of color." and one below it, "Sidenote: what's an internal colony, and how is it different than good old evil colonialism? Sociologist Robert Blauner describes it as "Colonization outside of a traditional colonial structure," or a system where (white) institutions and (class-privileged, white elites) controlled urban power structures and how institutional resources were distributed."


What identities in addition to race alone are impacted by Columbia's effort to privatize a section of the park for a gym?

screenshot of text that reads, "Each organization represented different group interests and articulated their relationship to the gymnasium with varying degrees of outrage. Despite core differences, the groups' readiness to organize with regards to double exploitation by race and class was striking." with a handwritten note pointing to it that says "Also gender, which I do not talk about enough"


How can students work with and support community members?

screenshot of zine text with paragraphs reading, "The actions that took place on campus in April were an important assertion of students' rights to protest within campus public space and occupy institutional property as their own. But student groups were unlikely permanent allies for community activists with deeper roots in Morningside Heights and West Harlem. Rapid turnover between cohorts of undergraduates guaranteed that students' historical memory was fleeting, tending to disappear between generations. Many community activists who had thrown their support behind the Black students occupying Hamilton Hall, including Harlem CORE and SNCC, would never see the same reciprocity." and handwritten below that, "The people will run Columbia" and to the side, "Or the people will burn it down," and a typewritten paragraph, "However, SAS, the Afro-American student group, did understand with more urgency the implications of Columbia's disregard for Black community input on the gymnasium project. One of their key g oals was stated as forcing "to give the community greater voice in controlling the gym, much greater access to the gym's facilities, and many more concessions." Though SAS' membership, too, would fade away with the natural ebb and flow of students through Columbia's gates, the temporaryc oalition they formed with SDS and Black community protesters from Harlem ar.d Morningside Heights was a genuine confluence of interests."


How does the knowledge that a college senior wrote this zine impact your reading of the text?

How about when you account for her other identities (that I'm assuming from her appearance, bio, and affiliation)--white, Jewish, cisgender, female, living in Minnesota at the time?