The Southern Porch as a ‘Sacred Stoop’

The Southern Porch as a ‘Sacred Stoop’

By Barbara Gutierrez

The Southern Porch as a ‘Sacred Stoop’

By Barbara Gutierrez
A University of Miami lecturer explores the role of the front porch in black communities.

For Germane Barnes, the front porch on his family’s Chicago’s West Side home brings mostly good memories of leisurely afternoons and evenings spent conversing with neighbors, watching motorists show off their fancy wheels, and waving to high schoolers who were walking to prom dressed to impress. 

But when he was 16 years old, Barnes, now a lecturer at the University of Miami’s School of Architecture, was arrested off that same porch and held for three hours in a cold, adult cell. It was a case of mistaken identity and Barnes was released unharmed. But he has always thought that the porch held an important role in the African-American community. Read more.