About Mmere Dane: Black Time Belt
Mmere Dane: Black Time Belt maps several historic all-Black towns and Freedom Colonies across the United States pre- and post- Civil war - many destroyed by displacement, development, racist violence, and environmental injustice. Mmere Dane: Black Time Belt functions as a Black Quantum Futurist archive of alternative past-present-future(s) where the towns form a network of Black temporal zones - or a Black Time Belt - protecting these communities from the impacts of temporal-spatial oppression and destructive linear progressive timelines.
The Mmere Dane: Black Time Belt archive is a compilation of connections, links, resources, maps, lessons, public domain images, surviving descendants' archives, BQF soundscapes, and videos all serving to revive and maintain the temporal-spatial network/time zone of the Mmere Dane: Black Time Belt. It shows these towns both as they were and speculates on a timescape where the towns are collectively encircled in an ever-unfolding, intertwined present that intermingles with past(s) and future(s) along the Black Time Belt, where Mmere Dane is the law by which its temporal reality evolves. Though hundreds of these towns existed, and many of them continue to exist or are memorialized in some form, twelve are highlighted in the Mmere Dane: Black Time Belt archive - particularly towns where ample documentation exists, but the town itself may be largely forgotten in our collective memory and public historical consciousness. Each featured town has a corresponding soundscape crafted for that area of the Time Belt.
Time, experience, and episodic memory is wound up in the places we call home, wrapped around the objects that inhabit them, and embedded in the land itself. The so-called failure to accelerate quickly enough on the progressive, capitalist timeline and arrive to the futures envisioned by the state forces is what keeps marginalized Black and Brown people and communities, locked into a narrow temporal present(s), bereft of tools, disconnected from resources, with limited and inequitable access to time, memory, and rooted location. Mmere Dane: Black Time Belt evades linear progressive histories and legacies of spatial displacement of Black communities, and demonstrates potent examples and possibilities for Black land sovereignty, self governance, temporal autonomy and spatial agency.
Mmere Dane is an Adinkra Symbol that means "Time Changes" or "Times Change" in the Akan language, signifying the dynamic nature of change and the temporary nature of any state of events. The symbol resembles an hour glass enshrined in a circle with a line running through its epicenter at the place where the top and bottom half of the hour glass meet, It is a symbol which can encode and hide different layers of meaning. Each town also embodies its own adinkra symbol, chosen for its reference to endurance, resilience, space and time.
Credits and Acknowledgments:
Site developed by Rasheedah Phillips of Black Quantum Futurism commissioned and produced on behalf of ifa (Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen) for ARE YOU FOR REAL. Additional contributions: Graphic Designer N. R. Bharathae, Musician Moor Mother, Writer Alex Smith, and Filmmaker Bryan O. Green. Eternal gratitude and appreciation to each Black town, all of their descendants and legacy-keepers for sharing information, photos, archives, analyses, and communal/ancestral memory, time, space. Additional credits and references throughout the site. Site is best viewed on laptop/desktop/ipad. It is not fully optimized for mobile viewing.