“Our Prison”: Kitchenettes, Carceral Power and Black Masculinity During the Interwar Years

Rashad_2971Thursday October 8, 2015  | Sidney Smith Hall, Room 1083 | 3:30-5pm

This talk examines kitchenettes—small cramped housing Black migrants on Chicago’s South Side were forced to live in. Drawing on the work of writer Richard Wright, this talk delineates the entrance of carceral power into the quotidian spaces of Black Chicago. Wrights’ geography of Black life in the kitchenette not only illustrates the existence of carceral power, but it also demonstrates the impact it had on performances of Black masculinity.

9780252081149Rashad Shabazz is Associate Professor in the School of Social Transformation, Department of Justice and Social Inquiry, at Arizona State University. His academic expertise brings together Black cultural studies, gender studies, and critical prison studies, within a methodological framework that draws on human geography. His research explores the ways in which race, sexuality and gender are shaped through geography.  Dr. Shabazz is the author of Spatializing Blackness (University of Illinois Press, 2015), which examines how the history of carceral power within the geographies of Black Chicagoans shaped masculinity and heath. Dr. Shabazz has published in Souls, Gender place and Culture, The Spatial-Justice Journal, ACME, Occasions. As a long time anti-prison activist, Dr, Shabazz sees activism as a catalyst for his scholarly work.

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