In this reflective essay, the author addresses how, through the course of his professional public history career, he developed an evolving understanding of the complexities of interpreting community history, the nuances of contested space, and how social privilege fit within this process. Drawing upon decades of personal experiences and professional activities with community and oral history–based projects, he expresses how public historians can recognize multiple perspectives and then work in tandem with various constituencies to navigate an array of interpretive and preservation challenges. Finally, he encourages his fellow practitioners to acknowledge and understand the intricacies of social privilege, from both a personal and project-oriented perspective, in the practice of the public history craft.

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