Global Black Geographies [2]: Racialized Spaces, Black Space-Making and Theorizing: Movements and Displacements

Type: Virtual Paper
Theme: Black Geographies Specialty Group Curated Track
Sponsor Groups: Black Geographies Specialty Group, Africa Specialty Group, Latinx Geographies Specialty Group
Poster #:
Day: 4/7/2021
Start / End Time: 3:05 PM / 4:20 PM (PDT)
Room: Virtual 10
Organizers: Victoria Okoye, William Richardson
Chairs: Victoria Okoye


This paper session brings together critical scholars to discuss Black (African and Diaspora) spatial experiences and practices in the context of white supremacy and hegemonic race-based design and planning. In geography and related disciplines, a wide range of scholars push our critical understanding of the ways in which white supremacy, racism, and hegemonic race-based planning and design affect how we as Black peoples live, experience, navigate, and survive in urban spaces, as well as the diverse spatial practices that we employ to subvert, resist, thrive, and create communal and liberatory spaces. These investigations demonstrate the continuing impacts of white supremacy and racism in settler colonial contexts, as well as the ways in which racialized processes and institutions continue to manifest through urban and spatial imaginaries in postcolonial contexts: “black sense of place” in the US (McKittrick 2011), “black urbanism” in the UK context (Goodwin 2010), “hair braiding epistemologies” in Johannesburg (Matsipa 2017), “black placemaking” in Chicago (Hunter et al 2016), as well as the reproduction of colonial racism in postcolonial Ghana (Pierre 2012).

This panel session attempts to traverse the geographical boundaries that often separate our theorizing and scholarly conversations. In organizing this session, we aim not to essentialize Blackness, but rather to seek connections while embracing the spectrum of our subjectivities produced through our histories and experiences. We ask: How is dehumanizing and racist planning and design, emergent from slavery, colonialism, apartheid and segregation, reproduced in ‘modern’ urban and spatial imaginaries in settler colonial and postcolonial cities? How might we talk not just within but also across our African and African Diaspora geographies to critique the mechanisms of displacement and containment employed in settler and postcolonial cities, and to make visible how these techniques move across different regimes? What frameworks and concepts enable us to shift, stretch, and expand intellectually to theorize about spaces, space-making practices of Black peoples, as well as to reflect on our own experiences of conducting research as Black peoples navigating Blackness in different contexts? How does our theorizing (and theories) move? How might working across deeply embedded Africa-Africa Diaspora divides enable us to connect our critiques of white supremacy and racialization processes, and its linkages to coloniality, capitalism, and heteropatriarchy, to map global Black geographies?

Presentations and discussions will engage topics such as:
- Racial capitalism
- Settler colonialism, internal colonialism, plantationocene, coloniality
- (Re)production of racialized space via architecture, design, and planning
- Marronage, fugitivity, forced migration
- Blackness and travels through time and space
- Anti-Blackness and xenophobia
- Resident displacement, dispossession, and containment
- Citizen activism, protests, everyday commoning and spatial practices of contestation

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Type Details Minutes Start Time
Presenter Inge Salo*, Clark University, More than an Apartheid loss: Recovering and Remembering Fairview, a ‘lost’ Group Areas history 15 3:05 PM
Presenter Ampson Hagan*, University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill, Reducibility of Black African Life in the Camp 15 3:20 PM
Presenter Joaquin Villanueva*, Gustavus Adolphus College, Urban Planning with Fanon: The Puerto Rico Planning Board and Alienation in San Juan, 1942-1955 15 3:35 PM
Presenter Theresa Hice Fromille*, University of California - Santa Cruz, Black Girls Travel: Creating Fugitive Spaces for Adolescent Black Girl Identity Formation through Roots Tourism 15 3:50 PM
Discussant Jovan Lewis University of California - Berkeley 10 4:05 PM

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