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The Gadfly Papers


In 2021, SH4RE collaborated with The Pensacola School of Liberal Arts High School to produce an 8-week program for their 11th and 12th-grade students. The class was taken on weekly field trips to survey the monuments in the historic district of downtown Pensacola, Florida. The students gathered information at the monument sites, researched independently for homework, and in the classroom, we held discussions comparing the facts we learned from our research with the information presented on-site near the monuments.

We found Pensacola's memorial ecology dominated by Confederate and Colonial narratives. In our classroom discussions of what these same monuments mean from multiple perspectives, such as the Native American and Black experience, we began to understand how celebrating American Exceptionalism to promote cultural tourism also perpetuated historical trauma for some communities. From the handouts, worksheets, and research papers written by the students, we produced a zine inspired by Socrates and Martin Luther King Jr. called The Gadfly Papers. The zine was well received locally and ultimately inspired us to develop a guidebook for a walking tour of historic Pensacola, with an optional curriculum available for independent study and/or teacher-led field trips.

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