Introducing Avery Research Center Graduate Assistant: C. Mateo Mérida-Sparling
Hello everyone! My name is C. Mateo Mérida-Sparling. I was born and raised in Denver, CO, and am a big time Denver Broncos and Nuggets fan, and a Rockies and Avalanche supporter. Some of my hobbies include sneaker collecting, music reviews, aimless walks, reading, and listening to people share stories. I graduated from Colorado State University in December 2019 with a double major in Sociology and History. This past summer I married my best friend from high school, Aubrie Nelson.
I have two dogs named Jonny (Beagle/Sharpei/ Pitbull) and Mocha (Boxer/Belgian Malinois).
The four of us moved here all the way from Fort Collins in January 2020. My wife and I wanted to find a place to live that did not have snow, was right on the beach, and had some pretty scenery as well as a lively downtown. Similarly, we both wanted to find a school that would meet both of our needs, and College of Charleston checked all of the boxes. Additionally, my grandfather went to school here in Charleston, but was unable to finish his degree here due to family circumstances. I really liked the poetic justice of finishing a degree here myself to complete the journey so to speak. After counting up all the reasons, we moved as soon as I finished at Colorado State.
I am enrolled in the College of Charleston’s joint program with The Citadel, as a master’s student in Public History. My studies concentrate on the history of Latine people across both American continents, with a focus on the United States, largely hoping to better understand American intervention, indigeneity, migration, decolonization, cultural retention, and community building, just to name a few things. I also have a firm background in Black American history, and am very excited to be working at the Avery Research Center.
The majority of the work that I do here at the Avery Research Center is processing donated archival collections and responding to research inquiries. Every day offers a different experience, and I learn something new with each collection I view. For most, I am probably going to be the most visible with these blog posts. In these, it is my hope to highlight much of what the Avery Research Center has to offer in its many archived collections, while also trying to better underscore Black history, oftentimes emphasizing the many African American individuals who have lived right here in Charleston for hundreds of years. In my opinion, telling a historical story is not any good if you cannot connect it to the relevant events that are happening today, so oftentimes, I will make some pretty direct connections to current events or underlying social issues.
I am really excited to be writing to you all, and I hope that you enjoy some of the stories that we have to share with you!