Everett L. Fly believes that African American legacies are embedded in the physical and cultural substance of many of America’s built and vernacular places. Formal education in architecture introduced him to the positive potential of planning and design in respecting and expressing the cultures of people wherever they live, work and play. He believes that American planning and design should be more deliberate in reflecting and respecting a broader cultural diversity, including Black and Indigenous people.

As a first year student in the Harvard Department of Landscape Architecture, Fly was introduced to leading scholars, including John Brinckerhoff Jackson.  Under Jackson’s tutelage he began to research and study the origins and evolution of historic Black settlements across the United States.  Fly began to develop an interdisciplinary research methodology which could be applied to planning design, practical conservation, preservation, and interpretation of African American and underrepresented communities, buildings and landscapes.

Fly’s projects have been used to inspire interest and protect some of America’s most threatened, and treasured, historic African American resources.

Fly will discuss research, discovery, interpretation and applications of his preservation and cultural landscape work, including autonomous Black settlements, urban enclaves, districts, schools, churches, cemeteries, cultural rituals and traditions.