A STARLESS NIGHT

rethinking the city

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The first thing I noticed when I moved to Orlando wasn’t what most people would expect. It wasn’t the tourist traffic, however annoying that can be, or the ever present iconic Florida palm trees (that aren’t native), it was the almost complete absence of stars in the night sky. I grew up along the north shore of Lake Superior in Ontario Canada in a somewhat storybook pastoral setting. I was 40 minutes from the nearest town, and houses were more like moth-eaten holes chewed into a thick sheet of wilderness, rather than like the quilted blankets of manicured lawns and asphalt in the city. I’ve got a trunk-load of memories of my family looking dumbstruck at some heavenly body (not Channing Tatum) up over our heads. The Milky Way, the Big Bear and when we were lucky the Northern Lights would prance above our heads like some sort of…

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About J. Chambliss

Julian Chambliss is professor of History and coordinator of the Africa and African-American Studies program at Rollins College in Orlando, Florida. With research, teaching, and service centered real and imaginary urban spaces, he is an interdisciplinary scholar and award-winning teacher. He has designed digital humanities projects to investigate community and document black culture in the United States. Follow him on Twitter @JulianChambliss.
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