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
Amoo-Adare, Epifania Akosua. 2013. Spatial Literacy: Contemporary Asante Women’s Place-Making. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
Best, Asha. 2016. The Way They Blow the Horn: Caribbean Dollar Cabs and Subaltern Mobilities, Annals of the American Association of Geographers, 106 (2): 442-449.
Bledsoe, Adam, and Wright, Willie Jamaal. 2018. The pluralities of Black geographies. Antipode, 51: 419–437.
Adam Bledsoe and Willie Wright, “The Anti-Blackness of Global Capital.”
Collins, Patricia Hill. 1987. The Social Construction of Black Feminist Thought. Signs 14(4): 745-773.
Glissant, Édouard. 1997. Poetics of Relation. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.
Hunter, Mark Anthony; Patillo, Mary; Robinson, Zandria F.; Taylor, Keeanga-Yahmahtta. 2016. Black Placemaking: Celebration, Play, and Poetry. Theory, Culture & Society 33(7-8): 31-56.
Goodwin, Paul. 2010. Re-Visioning Black Urbanism. Place Beyond Place Symposium. Preston, UK. https://vimeo.com/16273684
Hagan, Ampson. 2017. Algeria's Black fear. Africa is a Country. https://africasacountry.com/2017/08/algerias-black-fear/
Hawthorne, Camilla. 2019. Black matters are spatial matters: Black geographies for the twenty-first century. Geography Compass, 1-13.
Kincaid, Jamaica. 1988. A Small Place. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
Mbembe, Achille. 2003. Necropolitics. Public Culture 15(1): 11-40.
McKittrick, Katherine. 2011. On Plantations, Prisons, and Black Sense of Place. Social & Cultural Geography 12 (8): 947-963.
McKittrick Katherine and Woods, Clyde Adrian, eds. 2007. Black Geographies and the Politics of Place. Toronto: Between the Lines and Cambridge: South End.
Matsipa, Mpho. 2017. Woza, Sweetheart! On Braiding Epistemologies on Bree Street. Thesis Eleven,141(1): 31-48.
Ochonu, Moses. 2019. Racism or Classism? Africa’s Hidden Race Problem. The Republic. https://www.republic.com.ng/vol3-no1/racism-or-classism/
Pierre, Jemima. 2013. The Predicament of Blackness: Postcolonial Ghana and the Politics of Race. Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press.
Richards, Marie-Louise. 2017. Hyper-visible Invisibility: Tracing the Politics, Poetics and Affects of the Unseen. Field: A Free Journal for Architecture 7(1): 39-51.
Stevens, Gareth; Bell, Deanne; Sonn, Christopher C.; Canham, Hugo; Clennon, Ornette. 2017. Transnational Perspectives on Black Subjectivity. South African Journal of Psychology 47(4): 459-469.
Brandi Summers, Black in Place: The Spatial Aesthetics of Race in a Post-Chocolate City
Weheliye, Alexander G. 2014. Habeus Viscus: Racializing Assemblages, Biopolitics, and Black Feminist Theories of the Human. Durham and London: Duke University Press.
|Presenter||Ashley Agbasoga*, Northwestern University, Black and Black/Afro-Indigenous Multimodal Resistance to Mestizaje in Multicultural México||15||4:40 PM|
|Presenter||Alex Moulton*, University of Tennessee, “their predatory excursions greatly distressed the back settlers”: Maroonage, Belonging and the Jamaican Frontier||15||4:55 PM|
|Presenter||Kessie Alexandre*, University of Washington, Water Publics and Black Spatial Politics in Newark, NJ||15||5:10 PM|
|Presenter||Theodore Hilton*, Tulane University, From Petro-Plantation to People’s Preservation: Louisiana Free Settlements on the Road to Recognition||15||5:25 PM|
|Discussant||Asha Best Clark University||10||5:40 PM|
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