Getting through “The Daily Grind” – Zanya Harriott’s Uncommon Knowledge Project

How do the material, cultural, intellectual, and social contributions of African Americans shape your day to day life?

This is a question that Zanya Harriott ’14 is asking members of the Haverford community to consider in her week-long project, “Uncommon Knowledge” in which students, faculty, and staff have been invited to make the attempt to live their day-to-day lives without crucial inventions by black people; you can follow the project by going to the OMA Facebook page, which you can get to from the button on www.haverford.edu/deans/oma

Zanya is offering nightly video updates on the challenges for the next day, along with histories of inventors such as Alice H. Parker, (whose patent # 1,325,905 is illustrated on the right) who in 1919 invented a heater with a mechanism that regulated the flow of heat to different rooms in a building (my household tried to do without this but when the interior hit 57 degrees, key constituencies staged a successful revolt).

For today, the theme is “The Daily Grind” — what are those common items that are ubiquitous and part of the fabric of our everyday lives?