Division And unification in Gainesville Florida Justin Littlejohn

On 34th Street in Gainesville there is a longstanding tradition of creating murals, graffiti, and promotion along the wall that runs parallel to the road. The wall has a become a site for artists, students, and the remainder of the community at large to express political, religious, and artistic messages for themselves, an organization, or a cause they are supporting. The wall is very similar to the murals of Belfast as the messages they hold can have significant messages behind them that represent a much larger weight than just simply graffiti on the wall and are used as a platform to peacefully display differing opinions and causes. Murals and graffiti are drawn to promote rallies and protest, to voice displeasure with political climates, among so many other things and the wall offers a safe and community minded place to allow people of different races, religions, sexual orientations, and any other minority group to express themselves
Above is a poorly taken picture of Broward Residence Hall, a dormitory located on campus at the University of Florida in Gainesville. Broward Hall brings in students from across the country with different races, ethnicities, cultures, ideologies, and various other differing characteristics into a single communal living space. This is another example of a space that promotes and allows for diversity and a community minded area. I chose this location due to the fact that it is a very unlikely scenario in most places in the world to have such a smorgasbord of individuals sharing everything from living spaces, toilets, and showers and having very minimal conflict.
Above is a picture of Bo Diddley Community Plaza in Downtown Gainesville. Each week the town hosts free concerts at the plaza that promotes the arts and culture that is so affluent in Gainesville which gathers residents of all different identity groups and backgrounds to a unified location. As is the case with many of the divided cities studied during this course, the art scene in Gainesville has tradition and deeply embedded cultural roots that reflects it's citizens either through the music scene that is similar to that of Belfast during the Troubles and the film scene that is similar to that of Bosnia during the conflict in the 1990's. These scenes and the numerous others reflect the angst and culture that is present with the students and residents. As the University of Florida is a hub for diversity and culture, Bo Diddley offers a location to promote this diversity and culture while extending the opportunity to be apart of the culture to residents of any background and identity group.
Above is a picture of Turlington Plaza at the University of Florida which is the location of the majority of protests, political and cultural gatherings, and tabling events for different organizations and groups throughout the UF community. This site is noteworthy because it brings together the community as a whole and often sparks up heated confrontations between differing identity groups, such as the Jewish organizations versus the man wearing swastikas on campus a few months ago. At Turlington you can see unlikely cooperation and peace between differing organizations such as seeing the Jewish student groups tabling next to a Muslim student group which is hard to fathom after learning of the division in Jerusalem. The location is able to bring about unlikely pairings of groups and organizations and truly promotes differing backgrounds and cultures by giving them an opportunity to spread messages, gain new members, and to protest any sort of political, cultural, or varying other qualms they may have.
Pictured is the Phi Kappa Tau Fraternity House which is a symbolic picture for the entire Greek system at the University of Florida which is often looked at as a different identity group than the rest of the student body population. The Greek system at UF represents a identity class that has separate tradition, culture, and general aura of exclusiveness that often clashes with that of the non-Greek student body population here at the University of Florida. While anyone is welcome to "rush" a Greek organization, many do not enter or feel threatened by fraternities as their backgrounds are often heavily affluent and are that of upper-class families so for students like myself these houses and residents represent a divide in social classes, not necessarily for better or worse.
The University Club is a bar located in Downtown Gainesville that is for gay, bisexual, transgender, and crossdressers. The community within the club is very much divided from the majority of the population in Gainesville as most would not venture in to the University Club as it hosts people of a different sexual orientation and culture than the general public. The clothes that are worn, the vernacular used, and the ideologies of those who visit University Club represent the divide in communities that is so easily recognizable.
The Institute of Black Culture is a location that represents a divide as most students who are not black would be hesitant or unwilling to enter the building. The institute is there to preserve the culture and heritage of the black student body population at the University of Florida which is a different set of cultural and social norms than that students of white, asian, hispanic, or any other race. As would be the case for differing identity groups in a divided city, it is an unspoken rule and understanding that you would not enter or go to this institute if you were of the differing identity group. Not out of fear of harm or danger, but as someone who is unable to grasp or understand the cultural divide between the black culture and the rest of the student body population.
The above picture is of Fletchers, a small dive bar on the east side of Gainesville that often holds gatherings on Friday's for a celebration of black culture through cars, music, and food. Though no partitions are present, the divide could not be more evident than when driving by late on a Friday night when cars with bright colors and rims are loudly playing hip-hop while members of the black community show off the latest new fashion trends inside. The vocabulary, fashion, upbringings, and race are all elements to what divides this community from the remainder of the population. I chose this particular location due to the fact that it hosts gatherings that represent the entire east side part of Gainesville through open mic nights with rappers, the car culture, music culture, soul food, and so many other aspects of the black community.

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