PAAH Summer Program Interns: Guevara Jean-Pierre
My name is Guevara Jean-Pierre and I am a recent graduate of Queens College. As an undergraduate, I pursued a degree in Africana Studies and Art History. Within those two fields, my primary focus is discovering the links and deep lineage of African and Caribbean Diaspora Art. I plan on attending NYU in the fall pursuing an MA in Africana Studies and Museum Studies.
When my mentor recommended for the Mellon Scholar’s Internship, I was shocked. I had never heard of the Library Company of Philadelphia before, let alone this program. Nevertheless, I proceeded with my application process. I did so with the hope of being in the physical presence of some of the greatest minds housed in an institution of great historical importance and rich archival collections. But then the world was struck by a pandemic that would affect every single aspect of our lives including my internship. The program went from almost a month in Philadelphia in the thick of research to a complete virtual transition. To be completely candid, I was extremely nervous interacting with such brilliant minds of my generation but fortunately, we fell into the groove quite easily. The speakers we interacted with were not only amazing but their presentations served as one of the most worthwhile endeavors I had in my academic career. The Juneteenth webinar celebration with Dr. Walter Greason was especially memorable from his presentations, the participants asking questions and the wonderful answers. It was an all-around joy! It was my intention to ask as many questions as I possibly could.
Also, daily conversations with individuals working and thriving in their field filled me with such hope and renewed my passion for my career path in art history and museum curation. We were blessed with our research topic, racism and pandemics, because it is relevant to our current conditions and involves curation. So, for my research topic, I decided to focus on how labor in the African Diaspora during the Covid-19 pandemic has affected Black workers now and compare them to past historic Black laborers.
I regret not having the ability to get the full experience of the residential program. I do hope however, that I will have the opportunity to participate again and be able to fully take advantage of LCP’s amazing physical connection, the beautiful Cassatt house and of course Philadelphia’s night life.
Mellon Summer Fellow 2020