Black students bear witness to their own history in the metaverse

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    “I really wanted to put people where they’ve already been throughout black history,” Gort said.

    Gault’s virtual reality project took two months to complete and has captivated people of all ages and races, he said. In addition to the “I Am A Man” project, Gort is also painting murals in the Metaverse, he said.

    What intrigues Gault about the Metaverse most, he said, is that it “allows you to create things that you couldn’t actually create in the real world.” The tool also makes it practical for people to create these experiences without spending a lot of money, he added.

    The Metaverse has attracted many black-led organizations such as: Route historyis a museum in Springfield, Illinois that explores the history of Route 66 through the past experiences of black travelers. In May, Route History will launch the Metaverse Experience, allowing visitors to see the world from the perspective of his four black characters traveling along Route 66.

    The project includes a baseball player traveling with a team, a blues singer traveling with a backup singer, a family of four, and a WWII veteran.

    Gina Lathan (right) leads a route history tour for Illinois Governor JB Pritzker, Lieutenant Governor Julianna Stratton, and staff members from the Illinois Department of Commerce, Economic Opportunity.Courtesy Gina Lathan

    Route History founder Gina Lathan said: “Unfortunately, it has never been formulated in a way that speaks to our greatness.”

    Senator Doris Turner, an advocate for black history on Route 66, said using this “today platform” allows us to continue the tradition of sharing oral histories in the black community. rice field.

    “Often in African-American families, our history is passed down through oral history, through talking to aunts and uncles, grandmothers, and great-grandmothers about family events,” Turner said. “And we’re missing some of that. So this is an opportunity to spur those conversations.”

    Stacy Grundy, vice president of Route History, said the new Metaverse experience will also help local black kids take pride in their region’s history.

    “If you look at these communities that had Green Book operations, today many of them are some of the most distressed communities in the state,” Grandy said. “So the children who live in these communities don’t know communities like they did 100 years ago. It was a huge opportunity to recreate it and make them inspired and proud of their community, and to make them understand that someone before me had already laid the groundwork, and now They have an opportunity to do the same.”

    What does the future of the metaverse look like

    The Metaverse could serve as a space for many young people to learn, but the number of interested people, including adults, is expected to grow. 74% of US adults According to Bankless Times, it’s joining or considering joining.

    and Pew Research Center research 54% of 624 tech innovators, developers, business and policy leaders, researchers and activists believe the metaverse will become a more sophisticated and immersive everyday life for more than 500 million people worldwide by 2040 said it expects it to be an aspect of

    A virtual sanitation worker holds up a
    A virtual sanitation worker protests and holds up an “I’m a man” sign in a metaverse re-enactment of the 1968 sanitary strike in Memphis, Tennessee.Courtesy Gabe Gault

    Gault said that while some people are still trying to grasp the idea of ​​the metaverse, many people use the space every day and hope that in the future they will gain more experience with the metaverse. ing.

    “I think history always repeats itself,” said Gault. “And I think it’s important to always stay refreshed, even on the little things that always go back to current events.”

    For parents like Serrano, the Metaverse can also be seen as a tool to teach children like their daughter who want to see Rosa Parks in the Metaverse in the future. Serrano, who is Puerto Rican, also said that although she is not black, “if we had grown up in that era,” because of the color of her skin, “we would have been treated pretty much the same.

    That’s why teaching her daughter black history is so important, she said, and if it’s by the Metaverse, she’s all for it.

    “I’m always learning and I hope she’s always learning too,” Serrano said.


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