In working on my project I wasn’t sure just where to go. PPL seemed like the logical place to start — I had never been in an archive before or done this kind of research. The people at PPL really took me under their wing and helped me figure out how I was going to do this… and find resources, connections, people. They really were a backbone on this project and helping me succeed. I didn’t know a place would do this for free! I think public libraries have immense value…in educating people and having access to information and are a key to a whole different world of things that I didn’t know and I think a lot of people don’t realize exists.
In May of 2023, guest curator Aaron Castillo, Brown ’23, did extensive research in PPL’s Special Collections and curated an exhibit — Who Has a Seat at the Table? — to create space and learn with other members of the community. The Who Has a Seat at the Table exhibit explores the histories of five displaced communities in Providence, Rhode Island: The Narragansett Tribe, Colonial Black Heritage, Chinatown, Lippitt Hill, and Fox Point. The exhibit provides context by detailing what happened to these communities and examining how food and foodways can serve as a means of remembrance. Along with each history is an accompanying piece by artists Dana Heng and Nafis M. White that explores food and memory within the respective communities, revealing how we can preserve and remember these communities’ legacies through food.