Sunday, May 20, 2012

Interview: George Tyson

On May 18, 2012 we had our first interview with the historian George Tyson. He has been helping me research the previous owners of our building.  I find it interesting that many of them were women. However, it's really challenging wrapping my head around 18th century Danish West Indian life: the owning of another person; how to purchase yourself out of slavery?; and how to then survive on your own? Especially as a woman. What are your assets? Who do you align yourself with? And most importantly: What did this house mean to a formerly enslaved woman? Was it another means of income? Was it a refuge? An asset? We have owning property so associated with the concept of the "American Dream", a home as wealth builder, a form of security. What did it mean to them?

La Vaughn Belle & George Tyson reviewing the history of previous owners at 18B East St.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012


I have been on a longer hiatus that expected from this project. Life, work, life and work took over. However I am happy announce that we are fully reengaged and it's been exciting! There have however been some changes:

1. My fabulous cameraman Jason Roberts has moved on from St. Croix and in his place I have one of my former students, the very talented Rashad Martinez. He is an upcoming photographer and videographer and is a wonderful asset to the project.

2. I was accepted into the "Scrape, Paint and Rejuvenate" program then was told that our house could not qualify because it was empty. Helloooo, that's why we applied to the program, to fix it up so that it can be occupied. But it seems that the particular monies the St. Croix Foundation received had this stipulation (which they didn't realize until after we completed the application).  So that was a huge let down and has left me having to be very creative where to find the funds for the renovation. VISA?

3. Due to the hiatus our time line has shifted. We now expect to complete the documentary in November 2012. Full speed ahead!