Degree: Bachelor of Arts in History
College/School: Steven J. Green School of International & Public Affairs
Walking through a historic neighborhood in Coconut Grove a few years ago led India Ferguson to a discovery that would alter the course of her studies – and her future. Fascinated by stories of Bahamian migrants who settled in South Florida in the 1880s, India yearned to know more about her own family history – and the history of the African diaspora in the region. She eventually changed her major from environmental studies to history so she could pursue what she describes as the “lived experiences of diverse populations.”
Her curiosity led her to FIU’s Public History internship program, through which she secured a spot as an archival intern at the Black Archives History and Research Foundation of South Florida in historic Overtown, where she has worked for several semesters. There, India was able to combine her passion for writing, photography and art while helping researchers record and preserve the cultural narrative of Miami’s African diaspora. Her work included assisting the head archivist with the curation and installation of art exhibitions at the historic Lyric Theater in Overtown, experiences that she says taught her the importance of historic preservation as a means to understand race, identity and memory in America.
India has applied for a summer internship in the photographic conservation unit at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. She hopes to return to Miami and secure a fulltime position as an assistant archivist at the Black Archives Foundation while continuing her work as a portrait photographer.
By Amy Ellis
Communications Manager, Steven J. Green School of International & Public Affairs