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Exploring Rondo and Black Middle Class Spatiality of a Right to the City

Authors: Parvathy Binoy*, Florida State University
Topics: Urban Geography, Human-Environment Geography, Urban and Regional Planning
Keywords: Urban Gentrification; Black middle class; Right to the City
Session Type: Paper
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


My paper explores how recent work in Afro-Pessimism and Black radical thought characterized by Saidiya Hartman (2006) and Frank Wilderson (2010) can be put in conversation with the Right to the City framework drawing on David Harvey (2006) and Don Mitchell (2003). It draws on the case study of Rondo, an African American neighborhood in Saint Paul, Minnesota that has experienced intense dispossession and displacement in the 1960s due to the building up of the i-94 highway through the heart of the neighborhood. This paper draws on Don Mitchell's (2003) Right to the City and KY Taylor's (2019) Race for Profit to meditate on racialized housing and gentrification and then weaves between Afro-Pessimist and Black feminist theory to explore the possibilities of a Black middle class right to the city and spatial, gendered experience of anti-Black gentrification in contemporary Saint Paul.

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