Over 277,000 African Americans migrated to Chicago between 1900 and 1940, an influx unsurpassed in any other northern ci
341 121 2MB
English Pages 185 Year 2015
248 109 342KB Read more
In Black Madness :: Mad Blackness Therí Alyce Pickens rethinks the relationship between Blackness and disability, unsett
162 76 19MB Read more
Posthuman Blackness and the Black Female Imagination examines the future-oriented visions of black subjectivity in works
339 114 2MB Read more
"Blackness" is a term which has been understood differently across locations and eras. As a sequel to Centerin
174 26 2MB Read more
A 2008 cover of The New Yorker featured a much-discussed Black Power parody of Michelle and Barack Obama. The image put
728 179 8MB Read more
247 56 4MB Read more
Innovative and lavishly illustrated, Painting the Gospel offers an indispensable contribution to conversations about Afr
468 70 6MB Read more
How can thinkers grapple with the question of the human when they have been dehumanized? How can black thinkers confront
209 18 1MB Read more
For over 1500 years before the Empire Windrush docked on British shores, people of African descent have played a signifi
118 46 3MB Read more
Table of contents :
Preface: Geographic Lessons......Page 8
Carceral Matters: An Introduction......Page 18
1. Policing Interracial Sex: Mapping Black Male Location in Chicago during the Progressive Era......Page 28
2. “Our Prison”: Kitchenettes, Carceral Power, and Black Masculinity during the Interwar Years......Page 48
3. Carceral Interstice: Between Home Space and Prison Space......Page 72
4. “Sores in the City”: A Genealogy of the Almighty Black P. Stone Rangers......Page 93
5. Ghost Mapping: The Geography of Risk in Black Chicago......Page 114
Epilogue. Fertile Ground......Page 131
spatial izing black ness
Arch itectu r e s of Con fi n e m e nt a n d B l a c k Ma s c u l i n i t y i n C h i c a g o
7/2/15 2:45 PM
the new bl ack studies series
Edited by Darlene Clark Hine and Dwight A. McBride A list of books in the series appears at the end of this book.
7/2/15 2:45 PM
Spatializing Blackness Architectures of Confinement and Black Masculinity in Chicago
R ashad Shabazz
Universit y of Illinois Press Urbana, Chicago, and Springfield
7/2/15 2:45 PM
© 2015 by the Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois All rights reserved 1 2 3 4 5 c p 5 4 3 2 1 ∞ This book is printed on acid-free paper. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Shabazz, Rashad, 1976– Spatializing Blackness : architectures of confinement and Black masculinity in Chicago / Rashad Shabazz. pages cm. — (New Black studies series) Includes bibliographical references and index. isbn 978-0-252-03964-5 (hardback : acid-free paper) isbn 978-0-252-08114-9 (paper : acid-free paper) isbn 978-0-252-09773-7 (e-book) 1. African American men—Illinois—Chicago—Social conditions—20th century. 2. Masculinity—Social aspects— Illinois—Chicago—History—20th century. 3. African Americans—Illinois—Chicago—Social conditions—20th century. 4. Architecture and society—Illinois—Chicago— History—20th century. 5. Space (Architecture)—Social aspects— Illinois—Chicago—History—20th century. 6. Social control— Illinois—Chicago—History—20th century. 7. Imprisonment—Social aspects—Illinois—Chicago—History— 20th century. 8. Spatial behavior—Social aspects—Illinois— Chicago—History—20th century. 9. Chicago (Ill.)—Race relations—History—20th century. 10. Chicago (Ill.)—Geography. I. Title. f548.9.n4s53 2015 305.38'896073077311—dc23 2015006779
7/2/15 2:45 PM
Preface: Geographic Lessons vii Acknowledgments xi Carceral Matters: An Introduction 1
1. Policing Interracial Sex: Mapping Black Male Location in Chicago during the Progressive Era 11
2. “Our Prison”: Kitchenettes, Carceral Power, and Black Masculinity during the Interwar Years 31
3. Carceral Interstice: Between Home Space and Prison Space 55
4. “Sores in the City”: A Genealogy of the Almighty Black P. Stone Rangers 76
5. Ghost Mapping: The Geography of Risk in Black Chicago 97
Epilogue. Fertile Ground 114 Notes 121 Bibliography 141 Index 155
7/2/15 2:45 PM
7/2/15 2:45 PM
Preface: Geographic Lessons
My most important geographic lessons did not come from a lecture in a classroom. They did not come from a book or an article. They came from growing up in Chicago. I grew up on the South Side between the mid-1970s and the mid-1990s. I was raised in the city during a period of intense transition, part of the generation that brought hip-hop into the public and witnessed the election of the city’s first Black mayor. I saw the impact exploding murder rates had on the city and experienced the growth and decline of gangs. I had the privilege of seeing the Chicago Bears win their first Super Bowl and had a front row seat to the ascendance of Michael Jordan and the six championships he brought our basketball-crazed city. I saw Black people move to the South Suburbs in droves and witnessed the early return of whites to the city. My geographic lessons were largely informed by my family organization. My parents divorced when I was four. In the aftermath I lived with my greatgrandparents while my mother, who was my primary parent, tried to figure out her next steps. My great-grandparents lived on 103rd Street and St. Lawrence Avenue near King Drive, in the Pullman neighborhood, made famous by the Pullman porters. When I was in fourth grade my mother and I moved to Calumet Park, a village on the edge of the South Side, off 125th Street. This was my primary residence. Our move to “Cal Park” was an important one. It was the first home my mother owned. She moved us there because the schools were better than Chicago’s and because it was a safer neighborhood. We moved there as the last few white families were leaving the neighborhood for whiter suburbs
7/2/15 2:45 PM
viii . preface farther south. In fact, my mother bought the home we lived in from a white family. Whites moved to Calumet Park in the post–World War II era. They were moving away from the expanding Black community on the South Side. And in the mid-1980s the children of those people were once again leaving because Blacks were moving in. The Cal Park I grew up in was a working-class and middle-class Black community. It had good schools, a recreation center that served as the center of youth life, and a community pool. Our parents were first-time homeowners who grew up in the 1960s under de facto segregation. I spent time also (to a much lesser degree than at my great-grandparents’) at my father’s home, which was at 109th Street and Normal Avenue near South Halsted Street. His neighborhood was working class. City workers and retirees lived on the block, as well as young families and former prisoners. From weekend to weekend, year after year, I visited my great-grandparents and my father’s home and saw vast differences between the neighborhoods. These trips taught me about geography. More than just streets and neighborhoods, my weekend-trip experiences taught me that where you were located in the city determined the kind of experiences you might have, food you might consume, and proximity to poverty, policing, or street violence. I learned that every neighborhood produced a set of experiences that informed the social, political, and cultural dynamics of the community and the people. I received my first geographic lesson in Cal Park. The kids who grew up there, particularly the Black children, had extended family in other parts of the city. For many of us, the community we lived in and the places where our extended families lived were in contrast economically. For example, on 103rd Street, where my great-grandparents lived, poverty was more visible than it was in Cal Park; where my grandmother lived on 76th Street and Parnell Avenue, the poverty was even more apparent. By the late 1980s, there were shootings in my great-grandparents’ neighborhood. In 1990, my best friend’s big brother was killed by an assailant’s bullet. Two years later, a close friend from 103rd Street was shot to death while walking home from school. These experiences taught me that I had to be mindful of my actions in certain neighborhoods and not make universal claims about what a neighborhood was supposed to look and feel like. Even though I did not have to worry about gun violence in Cal Park, I did have to be mindful of police. Weekends at my father’s house expanded my spatial awareness even more. He had friends all over the city. And every weekend I spent with him we visited them. We went everywhere: the far South Side, the West Side, South Suburbs; we went to Stony Island (where I was born), Roseland, Englewood,
7/2/15 2:45 PM
preface · ix
and downtown; we went to Bronzeville, to the Robert Taylor Housing Projects, and once or twice to the North Side. With my father, every weekend was a tour of the city. Spatializing Blackness is the product of those geographic lessons I learned as a kid. I draw on them to understand the intersection of race, gender, and geography in Chicago. Rest assured, this book is not a collection of childhood memories—scholarly research and analysis is the cornerstone of this project. Nevertheless, those early geographic lessons created the intellectual footprint from which this book emerged.
7/2/15 2:45 PM
7/2/15 2:45 PM
Spatializing Blackness would not have been possible without the unconditional support and help of many people. I want to acknowledge these family, friends, mentors, and allies. This book began when I was in graduate school. I attended the History of Consciousness program at the University of California, Santa Cruz. HisCon (as we call it) provided me the intellectual space and freedom to bring to life the research during that period on which Spatializing Blackness is based. While there, I developed close relationships with several classmates. Sora Han, Greg Caldwell, NeEddra James, Paula Ioanide, Kalindi Vora, Kim Tallbear, Marco Mojica, and Felice Blake were an invaluable intellectual and emotional support system that enabled me to navigate the bewildering world of graduate school. The time I spent with them helped me to grow as a person and scholar. This book exists in part because of them. I attended His-Con from 2002 to 2008, which afforded me the distinct pleasure of having my personal and intellectual heroes serve as my guides. I am indebted to George Lipsitz, Tricia Rose, and Bettina Aptheker for their support and intellectual rigor, and for modeling what engaged scholarship looks like. I completed my work there and became a scholar because they believed in me and pushed me to do more than I thought I could accomplish. The lessons they taught made it possible for me to be in the position I am in now. Thank you. Angela Y. Davis served as my mentor during my time at His-Con. It’s hard to put into words what it was like to work with Angela. I often describe it as what it must have been like to follow Socrates around Athens or watch
7/2/15 2:45 PM
xii . acknowledgments Picasso paint. I sat next to genius for six years and savored every moment of it. Working with Angela was one of the most powerful and transformative experiences of my life. She taught me how to do work that was politically relevant and to have stakes in something bigger than my own career. She taught me how to be a public scholar and that ideas can transform the world. Thank you, Angela, for mentoring me, for teaching me, and for helping to bring this book to life. During my academic development I had several teachers who opened me up to new ways of thinking that profoundly influenced my intellectual journey. They include Angela Y. Davis, Neferti Tadiar, David Marriott, Tricia Rose, George Lipsitz, Nancy Jurik, Arturo Aldama, and Mecke Nagel. Their classes introduced me to theoretical concepts and methodological approaches I use in this work. Their contributions have been significant to my intellectual development. Thank you for being such wonderful teachers. I am indebted to a network of friends, allies, and mentors who supported me while this book was in the making. They gave me a community when I was in search of one, a platform on which to present my work; they encouraged me and listened when I needed to talk. In no particular order, they include Marlon M. Baily, Katherine McKittrick, Dylan Rodriguez, Tryon Woods, Beverly Mullings, Daniel Fountenberry, Jinny Hue, Jenna Loyd, Christina Bazzaroni, Wanda Heading-Grant, Major Jackson, Carolyn Finney, Greg Zadrozny, Beverly Colston, Hal Colston, Reecia Orzeck, the late Clyde Woods, Ruth Wilson Gilmore, Emily Bernard, Laura Pulido, LaToya Eaves, John Genneri, David Edmunds, and Heidi Nast. Thank you for your friendship, mentorship, and support. I want to give a special shout out to Pascha Bueno-Hansen. Pascha has worked with me on this project since it was in its earliest phase. Over the past six years she has read and given comments on every part of this project. Pascha, thank you for being my co-pilot on this journey; I could not have done it without you. Te amo hermana! In 2008 I was awarded the George Washington Henderson postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Vermont (UVM) in the Department of Geography. As an interdisciplinary scholar in search of a home, I could not have landed in a better place. The department embraced me, supported me, and gave me the room I needed to become the scholar I am today. Thank you Meghan Cope, Pablo Bose, Cherry Mores, Shelly Rayback, Beverley Wemple, Lesley-Ann Dipigny-Giroux, Ingrid Nelson, and Vibeke Burley for being such wonderful colleagues. Though he is no longer with us, this list is incomplete without mentioning the significance of Glen S. Elder. One of the
7/2/15 2:45 PM
acknowledgments · xiii
foremost scholars of sexuality and space in recent years, Glen recruited me to UVM. His untimely passing in 2009 left an intellectual and collegial hole in our department that we continue to feel. Thank you for bringing me to the Green Mountain state, Glen. Thank you for seeing in me what I did not see in myself (a geographer). And thank you for the mentorship and friendship you showed me in our short time together. I want also to thank my students in the Department of Geography. Their eagerness and thirst for learning inspired me. They allowed me to use the classroom as a laboratory to work through the ideas in this book. I have learned so much from you all. Thank you all for your patience, persistence, and willingness to do my unique brand of geography. The University of Illinois Press took this project on in 2011. Acquisitions Editor Dawn Durante has seen this project through from beginning to end. Dawn, you are wonderful to work with. Let’s do this again. Thank you, Julie Gay, for your wonderful editorial suggestions. This manuscript greatly benefited from external reviewers. Dylan Rod riguez and my blind reviewer provided me with thoughtful, rigorous, and critical feedback that helped me to refine and organize this book. I am deeply indebted to them for their support and intellectual generosity. Graduate students in the department of Global and Sociocultural Studies at Florida International University also provided valuable feedback on this manuscript while it was in production. Thank you all for reading my work and for helping me to get over the hump. Last but not least, I want to thank my family. My wife Trish has sat with this project for more than a decade. It’s hard to put into words what her support has meant to this project and to me. She has given me countless nights and weekends to work on this book; she’s read the manuscript over several years and held down the fort when I traveled to conferences and invited lecturers to talk about it. This work is as much hers as it is mine. Thank you, baby—I love you. To Simone and Ellison, I hope this book contributes to creating a better world for the both of you. Momma, thank you for all that you have done for me. You were my first teacher, and I continue to heed your lessons. I love you. My father, Albert Louis Sanders, passed away just as Spatializing Blackness was being written. I want to dedicate this book to his memory.
7/2/15 2:45 PM
7/2/15 2:45 PM
7/2/15 2:45 PM
7/2/15 2:45 PM
Carceral Matters An Introduction Black matters are spatial matters. —Katherine McKittrick, Demonic Grounds Space and where we are in it . . . determines a large portion of our status as subjects, and obversely, the kinds of subjects we are largely dictates our degree of mobility and our possible future locations. —Kathleen M. Kirby, Indifferent Boundaries If there is an overall political issue around the prison, it is not therefore whether it is to be corrective or not; whether the judges, the psychiatrists or the sociologists are to exercise more power in it than the administrators or supervisors; it is not even whether we should have prison or something other than prison. At present, the problem lies rather in the steep rise in the use of these mechanisms of normalization and the wide-ranging power which, through the proliferation of new disciplines, they bring with them. —Michel Foucault, Discipline and Punish
This book is about the relationship between people and place. It’s about how race and gender, sex, and place interact. It’s about the geographic lessons Black Chicagoans learned during the twentieth century and the role housing and architecture, politicians and police played in those lessons. This book argues that policing, surveillance, and architectures of confinement were used to “spatialize blackness” in Chicago, which produced racialized and gendered consequences for Black people on the city’s South Side. Through examining interracial sex districts, cramped apartments, project housing,
7/2/15 2:45 PM
2 . c arcer al mat ters street gangs, and Chicago’s AIDS epidemic, this book delineates the workings of spatialized blackness in Chicago. The term “spatialized blackness” underscores how mechanisms of constraint built into architecture, urban planning, and systems of control that functioned through policing and the establishment of borders literally and figuratively created a prison-like environment. These mechanisms were put in place by a police force determined to put a lid on interracial vice, greedy landowners who exploited poor Blacks, race theorists who advocated segregation, city planners who sought to control Blacks, the public-housing authority that wanted to contain crime, and federal policy that waged war on drugs. As a result, parts of Chicago’s South Side were confronted with daily forms of prison or carceral power that effectively prisonized the landscape. By “prisonize” I mean that techniques and technologies of prison punishment—policing, containment, surveillance and the establishment of territory, the creation of frontiers—functioned in the quotidian space of Black Chicago. Carceral power was not only a way to contain Black people; it was also a process for producing masculinity. Within the cramped confines of kitchenettes, the architecture of housing projects, and the space of prison cells, Black masculinity was being produced. This book examines the role geography played in the production of gender identity. My focus is on how carceral power informed Black men’s performance of masculinity. Through an analysis of the vice district, tenement housing, gangs, disease, urban planning, security tactics, and the architecture of public housing, I argue that the presence of policing, surveillance, restrictions on mobility, and the enforcing of territory had significant impact on the production of Black masculinity in Chicago. I trace the effects of carceral power on Black masculinity from its entrance into Black Chicago from the first leg of the Great Black Migration to the end of the twentieth century. I write this book as a response to the massive upswing in carceral forms within society. Echoing Foucault’s concerns, I want to know: What are the consequences that stem from the “steep rise of these mechanisms” in the lives of everyday residents? How did this come to be? And why were Black people subject to it? This book is my attempt to answer these questions. To do this I look at Chicago’s South Side. Chicago had the largest influx of southern Blacks of all Northern cities—277,000 from 1900 to 1940. They lived on a small strip of land seven miles long and one-half mile wide on the South Side of the city, which came to be known as the Black Belt.1 I grew up in the extended Black Belt of the post-1970s. Growing up on the South Side taught me that geography played
7/2/15 2:45 PM
an introduc tion · 3
an important role in identity. I was able to see that where you were from in the city had repercussions on how your identity was shaped. Spatializing Blackness asks: What happens when people are raised in environments built to contain them? How does it affect their sense of mobility and inform their conditions of possibility? What role does this play in how they perform gender? As a youth, I witnessed firsthand the consequences of containment. Carceral power had a variety of ramifications for us, and we responded to them in different ways. We fought against them by creating countercarceral geographies (see epigraph). And we embraced them and tried to live within them. I tell this story from the latter perspective. Spatializing Blackness demonstrates that Black spatial matters matter. No contemporary issue illustrates this point better than mass incarceration. At the writing of this introduction in 2014, there are more than 2.2 million people in federal and state prisons, with nearly 3.7 million on probation, 760,000 on parole, and 655,800 in jails, which breaks down to one in every thirty-five citizens under the jurisdiction of the correctional system.2 More than 60 percent of prisoners are people of color, with Black men representing the majority of those incarcerated.3 On any given day, one in ten Black men is in either jail (where people are held while awaiting trial or sentencing) or prison (where people serve their sentences).4 According to Michelle Alexander there are more Black people in prison today than there were slaves in the decade before the Civil War started.5 Mass incarceration not only places millions of Black people and their families under the jurisdiction of the state, but it also transforms their relationship to place by removing them from their communities, cutting them off from families and friends, and creating precarious housing conditions for former prisoners and their families. In the pages that follow I show how this explosion in Black incarceration was made possible by a geography of confinement, policing, and surveillance that was mapped onto Black communities during the early and middle parts of the twentieth century.
Historical Geographies of Race and Gender Spatializing Blackness is a historical geographic study of race and gender. Historical geography allows me to study geographical patterns over time. These rigorous and systematic methods require patience, discipline, and a commitment to uncover “forgotten facts.”6 To do this I utilize traditional (indoor) archives, which consist of memoirs, photographs, newspapers, magazine articles, maps, reports, and documentaries. This collage of sources is
7/2/15 2:45 PM
4 . c arcer al mat ters not arbitrary. Historical geographers make use of these sources in order to identify how social forces like racism, patriarchy, neoliberalism, colonialism, and punishment, for example, are mapped onto landscapes and people.7 Much the same as other historical geographers, I utilize these sources to make carceral power in Black Chicago visible. This study is concerned with tracing the emergence of carceral power and the implications of that spatial form over time.8 It focuses on the period between the Progressive Era and the early twenty-first century. In doing this, Spatializing Blackness also makes lucid the social production of carceral power and the racialized and gendered implications it creates. My historical geography is informed by the work of people like the late Glen S. Elder, George Lipsitz, Linda McDowell, Katherine McKittrick, Laura Pulido, and the late Clyde Woods. Their historical geographic studies focused on the racialization and/or gendering of landscapes and considered how people of color responded to these forms of spatial organization. I borrow from their critical race and gender focus to demonstrate the ways race, gender, and carceral power intersect.
Black Geographies and Carceral Power Spatializing Blackness is an interdisciplinary project. It sits at the intersection of Black studies and human geography. I draw upon these fields to inform my theoretical analysis. This marriage between the fields is evident in my reading of carceral power as racialized. It has a very long and sordid history with Black people. From the transatlantic slave trade to mass incarceration, carceral geographies have functioned where Black people reside. Surveillance, policing, and containment have been and continue to be part of the fabric of Black environments. This happens in a surprisingly ordinary fashion. It can be seen in the ubiquity of police in Black communities, the circulation of Black people in and out of prisons, jails, and juvenile facilities; and it is visible in the large numbers of Black people on parole or probation and on house arrest. This book is my attempt to cast light on the ubiquitous ways carceral power functions in the places Black people live and to bring that historical geographic connection into focus. My genealogy of carceral power is rooted in what McKittrick and Woods term “black geographies.” This concept highlights the spaces and places that reference and recuperate the historical struggles Black people have over location, what McKittrick and Woods term the “histories of the disappeared”
7/2/15 2:45 PM
an introduc tion · 5
and erased.9 Using a Black geographic lens enables me to illuminate how the racialized production of space took shape. I follow the insights of McKittrick and Woods to bring into the focus the history of Black Chicagoans’ engagement with carceral power. This history not only recounts the “how” and “why,” it also documents the implications and outcomes. This perspective has also given me a unique vantage point on carceral power, one that extends and corrects the work of Michel Foucault. Foucault is the most widely cited author on all things carceral. His 1977 book Discipline and Punish is considered by many of those who write about prisons and incarceration (present company included) to be a standard-bearer. By way of a summation: Discipline and Punish examined the role of carceral forms in the exercise of power, order, and the production of knowledge in modern society. Prisons, Foucault argues, helped to modernize the West. They give rise to “mechanisms of normalization,” or prison techniques like enclosure, surveillance, and policing, which Foucault argues had deep consequences for society. In the final chapter of the book, “The Carceral,” Foucault argues that prison practices and the forms of punishment that emerged from prison transgressed the space of prisons and penetrated the broader society. In doing this, the hope was to use containment, surveillance, and other prison practices to organize and discipline the masses. “[T]he ‘penitentiary’ was not simply a project that sought its justification in ‘humanity’ or its foundations in a ‘science,’” argues Foucault, “but a technique that was learnt, transmitted and which obeyed general norms.”10 In other words, prisons were institutions that produced disciplinary techniques that could be learned and appropriated by other institutions. They taught other institutions how to punish and how to discipline their subjects. No longer would punishment be a spectacle as it was during the reign of the monarchy. In modern society punishment would be part of the general order of things, part of the function of everyday life. It would be part of a series of seemingly mundane disciplinary procedures like the organization of cities and towns to ensure efficiency and surveillance, the teaching of children in school, the training of soldiers in the military, or the deployment of the police to manage the citizenry. I am persuaded by Foucault’s insights, especially his attention to the mundane deployment of carceral power and the mutability of techniques of punishment. I depart, however, from his European race-neutral focus. Critical race scholars have critiqued Foucault for his lack of attention to the way race informs and structures incarceration and carceral punishment. Joy James, for instance, has taken Foucault to task for his universalizing “the body of the
7/2/15 2:45 PM
6 . c arcer al mat ters white, propertied male” as the subject of carceral punishment, which erased the long history people of color have with carceral power.11 More than just a critique of Foucault, James’s analysis demonstrates that carceral power is deeply interwoven with racism. The geography of slavery is an example of carceral power’s history of antiBlack racism. Slavery was constituted on multiple practices of geographic violence.12 Transatlantic slavery brought into existence a network of techniques, technologies, and mechanics of constraint and immobilization used to capture and hold Africans. While dungeons and other tools of restraint have links to the ancient Athenian era, slavery created the epistemology of punishment that was used in Europe during Foucault’s history of the prison.13 The cruel technologies of slavery represented an entirely new ontology of space. The slave ship, the big house, the slave quarters, the field, the auction block, and the plantation were the spaces the geography of slavery created. The plantation—the place of “uneven colonial” and racial rule—drew its power in part from its ability to contain and incapacitate Black people.14 Using fear, intimidation, and spatial isolation, slave owners were able to make the larger geography outside the plantation places of illegal occupation for slaves. A slave ship was built to stack people in its bowel for transport. Mashed together like animals with disease ever present, the slave ship instilled in slaves a new sense of space. The well-known image of the belly of the slave ship filled with Africans en route to the Americas is an illustration of these barbaric spatial practices. Slave traders used chains, cells, and other kinds of restraints to immobilize Blacks. The former-slave-turned-abolitionist Olaudah Equiano spoke of the “iron muzzle,” which fit over the head of slaves and locked the mouth, making it impossible talk or eat.15 These technologies of cruelty were transported from the slave ship to the burgeoning prisons of Europe and its colonial sites. And as Foucault argues, they moved from the prison to the general society. In the United States, carceral power, which was born out of transatlantic slavery, was expressed on the plantation and in the broader geography of the South.16 Carceral power was central to the punitive economy of slavery and the legal codification of servitude. Without such forces it is difficult to imagine how the peculiar institution would have been maintained. And as Black people emerged from slavery, the technologies of cruelty that emerged to capture, hold, and transport them were repackaged for the new carceral age.17 In chapter 1, for instance, I show how this history found new expression in the geography of Jim Crow racism and demonstrate how these technologies migrated North to Chicago. And in chapter 2, I show how these practices moved into the homes
7/2/15 2:45 PM
an introduc tion · 7
of Black migrants on the city’s South Side. Chapter 3 documents how they became part of the planning, security, and architecture of public housing.
Black Readings of Carceral Power My analysis of carceral power is an intertextual weaving of Black literary artists and Black prisoners’ analyses. I draw on their evaluations because they put anti-Black racism at the center of their examination of carceral power. For them, carceral power is an anti-Black process. In chapter 2, I use Richard Wright’s analysis on carceral power to critically examine the small, cramped apartments Black migrants lived in between World War I and World War II. Decades before carceral power made it into the academic lexicon, Wright used his fiction and nonfiction to document and understand the effect the architecture of confinement had on Black men’s identity. For Wright, carceral power was not a problem of modern society; rather, it was the response to a rapidly changing city brought on by mass waves of global and national migration. Wright saw carceral power as a mechanism both to punish and to contain Blacks in the Black Belt. He used this analysis to bring attention to the injustices Blacks were confronted with and to develop his most-well-known literary character. Black prisoners have also spent time examining the ubiquity of prison techniques in Black communities. This should not be surprising; over the past five decades this group has been and continues to make up a majority of the nation’s prison population. Because of their relationship to carceral power on both sides of the wall—prison and home—they see its operation in Black communities. Because of this relationship with prison, prisoners have what Du Bois called a “second sight,” a “twoness” in the way they see and experience the world, which enables them to bear witness to the prisonization of nonprison spaces.18 While Black prisoners’ insights overlap with Foucault’s analysis of carceral power in that they understand how carceral power has emerged as a technique of punishment, they depart from (or correct) his race-neutral examination by arguing that carceral power is always encompassing racist state violence. Black prisoners’ analyses of carceral power align with the path set by Wright. Carceral power, they argue, was not distributed evenly. Black communities (as well as Latino communities) received the majority of its wrath and as a result bore a disproportionate amount of the consequences. I use their analysis to examine how housing, planning, architecture, security measures, policing, and incarceration informed Black men’s gender performance and Black people’s health.
7/2/15 2:45 PM
8 . c arcer al mat ters
Black Masculinity and Carceral Power Conceptually I draw upon masculinity studies and feminist geography to understand how geography informs Black men’s gender performance.19 The field of masculinity studies examines the social and historical production of masculinity, men, and the institutions (prison, for example) that reinforce the production of masculinities.20 Feminist geography makes explicit the spatial production of gender and how gender informs the production of space. This layered approach provides the conceptual formats that guide my perspective on gender and geography. I use it to demonstrate that carceral power and its spatial forms produced a gendered set of consequences for Black men in Chicago. These consequences were unique to the degree that they were construed within the social milieu of Black masculinity. They made themselves visible in performing macho or hyperaggressive forms of masculinity; through violence articulated on women and men; through anger and frustration; and through running away and disease.21 Masculinity studies and feminist geography also keep me accountable to a rigorous critique of gender inequality. I write this book from a heterosexual Black male social position. This social position influenced me to write about Black men and masculinity, and it informs my analysis. Writing from this vantage point enables me to bring into focus the complex and contradictory ways Black men responded to carceral power. However, it’s not enough to speak from a certain perspective. Many a project has gone awry from relying too heavily on identity. Therefore, in order to keep me focused on the task of providing a rigorous critique of gender, I use masculinity studies and feminist geography. I am aware that some might read my focus on masculinity as an exclusion of women. In a world where men sit atop social and economic hierarchies, studying masculinity may seem redundant or, even worse, a patriarchal endeavor. Spatializing Blackness is not exclusionary, nor does it reproduce patriarchy. This book does what many texts that blindly privilege men do not do, which is to examine the social, historical, institutional, and spatial production of masculinity. This project follows the work of feminist and masculinity studies scholarship that use gender as a lens to understand social phenomena. Far too often, discussions about men and masculinity are oversimplified or erased altogether. Often, men are not read as gendered, and the most egregious cases reduce them to biology. Part of the reason for this oversimplification is the power masculinity exercises. Foucault argues that the exercise of power exists as long as it remains hidden. This is the case with
7/2/15 2:45 PM
an introduc tion · 9
masculinity. Masculinity goes through great pains to hide itself and cloak its influences. Its invisibility enables it to function as an “unmarked category,” making it possible to evade the analysis of scholars and everyday people.22 Despite the profound influence of masculinity, it never has to acknowledge its role in organizing social, economic, and cultural life. Think, for example, about how we talk about war, interpersonal violence, state power, work, the economy, the military, the environment, sports, or cultural production as social forces, but we rarely consider how masculinity shapes these realities and contexts. And while there is much consideration for the effects these forces might have on women (because women are often read as gendered subjects), few studies examine how men’s lives are affected. And when they do factor in, they often do so as the agents of domination and rarely as subjects being dominated. Such analysis oversimplifies what is a complex and often contradictory reality for men. Though masculinities are often in positions of authority and have privilege, it is incorrect to assume that men are not caught in the matrix of the domination they produce. Men are “dominated by their domination,” to use the phrase by French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu.23 Indeed, while patriarchy produces severe consequences for women, sexual minorities, and children, men are also caught in its web of destruction.
Structure of the Book Spatializing Blackness consists of five chapters. Chapters 1 through 3 diagnose the rise of carceral power and the spatial forms it engendered in the quotidian lives of Black people on Chicago’s South Side between 1890 and the early 1960s. Chapters 4 and 5 document the impact this period had on performances of Black masculinity and Black men’s health from 1960s to the early years of the twenty-first century. Chapter 1 explores how carceral power became a fixture in Black Chicago. Focusing on the Progressive Era (1890–1920), this chapter documents the rise of policing in the Black Belt and demonstrates how carceral power entered Black Chicago via attempts to control Black male–white female sex and socializing in the popular South Side vice district. Building on chapter 1, chapter 2 examines how the police power that functioned in the public space of the Black Belt moved into the homes of Black migrants. Drawing on the literature of Richard Wright, this chapter looks at the cramped housing Black migrants were forced to live in—kitchenettes— and illuminates the role such structures played in the production of Black masculinity.
7/2/15 2:45 PM
10 . c arcer al mat ters Chapter 3 examines the form of housing that replaced kitchenettes: public housing projects. Focusing on the post–World War II era to the end of the 1960s, chapter 3 is a case study of the Robert Taylor Homes, which sat in the heart of the Black Belt. The Robert Taylor Homes also sat within a carceral interstice—a space between home and prison. Carceral power informed the construction, location, architecture, and planning of the Robert Taylor Homes. But the homes themselves also informed the production of subjects. Thus, chapter 3 also spotlights how these spatial forms shaped Black men’s identity. Chapters 4 and 5 examine the consequences of carceral power in Black Chicago. Chapter 4 looks at the role of carceral power in the rise of Black gangs and examines the particular role it played in the sociospatial production of Black masculinity. Focusing on the period between 1960 and the early 1980s, this chapter examines how carceral power helped give rise to the Almighty Black P. Stone Rangers street gang and documents how policing in Black Chicago and the growing prison industrial complex led to the incarceration of many gang members and Black men in Chicago. Finally, chapter five maps HIV/AIDS in Black Chicago. This chapter demonstrates how high rates of Black male incarceration, enabled by the war on drugs that swept tens of thousands of Black men into state prisons, exacerbated the expansion of HIV/AIDS among Black Chicagoans. As HIV/AIDS emerged in the early 1980s, prisons became key sites where the disease could hide and spread. The high rates of Black incarceration created a geography of risk for prisoners and the communities they returned to. In the epilogue, I address Chicago’s changing racial geography. I argue this change, which is creating gentrification in parts of the city, is also creating openings for Black Chicagoans to augment their geography. The transformation of abandoned lots into green spaces enables Black Chicagoans to eat fresh fruits and vegetables in places with little retail access to them, have productive labor for the people who are labor insecure, and create environments of stress reduction for the entire community. Green spaces remake the ground that decades of carceral enclosure built, and they show that poor and working-class people can transform their geographies on their own terms.
7/2/15 2:45 PM
1 Policing Interracial Sex Mapping Black Male Location in Chicago during the Progressive Era The persistence of the Black Belt, whose inhabitants can neither scatter as individuals nor expand as a group, is no accident. —St. Clair Drake and Horace R. Cayton, Black Metropolis The sexual question and the racial question have always been intertwined, you know. —James Baldwin, Conversations with James Baldwin
Introduction To tell the story about how carceral power became a permanent fixture in Black Chicago requires explaining the obsession over Black/white sex and the multiple ways it was used to organize social and spatial (henceforth: sociospatial) life during the early part of the twentieth century. I analyze this story through a close examination of police officers, police practices, and race theorists. Carceral power—in the form of policing—entered the Black Belt in Chicago vis-à-vis attempts to control interracial sex and socializing in the Black/ white sex districts. And in doing so it became a permanent fixture. Policing the Black Belt did more than install carceral power into the Black community. Policing was also a mechanism to access and consolidate whiteness, organize the racial geography of the city, and regulate Black men’s sexuality and that of the poor. Policing, however, was not simply about white repression of Black people; Blacks used police power to obviate claims of Black pathology. Using police power in Black Chicago gave the Black middle class legitimacy,
7/2/15 2:45 PM
12 . chap ter 1 making them look like moral crusaders against crime and indecency. Police power was also used to place limits on poor Blacks. I demonstrate this by interrogating the role racial and sexual politics played in the South Side vice district. I contend that policing was a dynamic exercise of power that profoundly shaped the geography of the Black Belt and social lives of whites. This chapter also examines the role interracial sex districts played in shaping Chicago’s response to Black migration and the subsequent measures it took to control Black sexuality. Black/white sex districts had a significant influence on modernizing the city’s police force, making it possible to reorganize itself and to create new methods of policing. Finally, this chapter interrogates the role race scholars and Reconstruction discourses from the South played in framing and mobilizing the hysteria around interracial socializing and sex in Chicago.
“The Lid on the Black Belt” Between 1890 and 1913 a shift took place regarding the tolerance over vice districts. During that period, vice went from being tolerated and even celebrated to being heavily policed and driven underground. Overnight it went from tourist craze to moral scourge. What happened during these twenty-three years to change how people in the city felt about vice? How did this change affect the lives of Black Chicagoans? What consequences did these changes have on the lives of white ethnics? And how did they transform policing? Chicago, like many Northern cities at the end of the nineteenth century and beginning of the twentieth, had a robust vice district called the Levee, a twenty-square-block area between Halsted Street and LaSalle Drive on the city’s South Side. Bulging with pool halls, saloons, and numerous houses of prostitution, the Levee was the city’s best-known district for vice.1 Against the backdrop of reformers’ efforts, and ultimate success, to close down districts like the Levee, vice—particularly prostitution—ballooned in new areas. The Black Belt was the primary place it migrated. In the Black Belt a new form of vice emerged: Black/white dancehalls and cafés called “Black and Tans.” Black and Tans were nightclubs that serviced interracial socializing. This combustible mixture was seen as an indication of immorality and sexual deviance. A Chicago Daily Tribune reporter described a Black and Tan scene in this way: “All the tables were filled at 2 o’clock [a.m.], black men with white girls, white men with yellow girls, old, young, all filled with the abandonment brought about by illicit whiskey and liquor music.”2 Made popular at
7/2/15 2:45 PM
policing interr acial se x · 13
the beginning of the twentieth century by young whites attracted to popular dancehalls that tolerated interracial socializing, Black and Tans quickly became emblematic of racial sexual deviance. The young, middle-class whites who visited Black and Tans found that the “primitive,” lascivious, and libidinous atmosphere of these establishments allowed them to express sexuality in ways incongruent with middle-class values. Of all the cities in the Midwest at the turn of the century, “Chicago was known for race mixing.”3 Because of the fame the city gained from it, interracial sex created much consternation and fascination among the public. The ultimate expulsion of spaces of interracial socializing from the public arena and the sequestering of them inside Black communities tells us much about the impact race and sexuality had on the construction of Chicago’s geography; most important, however, it highlights the entry point for the exercise of carceral power within Black Chicago. Were I to choose a date for the emergence and cementing of carceral power within the Black Belt, I would choose July 17, 1914. On that day Sgt. Stanley J. Birns was killed in a shootout in Chicago’s South Side Black vice district. The violent altercation began when a gunman, intent on killing the police inspector of morals (a member of Chicago’s anti-vice morals committee), began shooting. When the bullets stopped, Sargeant Birns lay dead, and three others were wounded. In the immediate aftermath, German-born Captain Max Nootbaar was appointed head of the Twenty-Second Precinct—which housed both the Levee district and the Black Belt.4 Nootbaar had a unique assignment in the wake of the violence: “clean up the old Levee.”5 To do this Nootbaar used police power, in the form of arrests, surveillance, and police orders.6 Nicknamed “the human lid,” Nootbaar worked to put a stranglehold on vice by closing down well-known establishments, increasing the number of police in the precinct, and expanding arrests of people suspected of being involved with vice.7 “From now on,” said the captain, “the lid on the old red light district is nailed down tight. It’s going to stay nailed down tight as long as I am in command here.”8 Nootbaar’s use of police power to suppress vice was a new tactic. Since the late nineteenth century, police gave license to vice districts, rather than shut them down; this benefited the political establishment and was quite lucrative. By regulating illicit businesses in cities like Chicago, police enabled political machines to extend their power into the underground, and police provided protection in exchange for a fee. The police were also responsible for ensuring that vice did not spread beyond established districts. In Chicago,
7/2/15 2:45 PM
14 . chap ter 1 the Levee district was made up primarily of European immigrants, with a small Black community nearby. Vice was allowed to exist here as long as it did not transgress neighborhood boundaries.9 Nootbaar, however, would use police power not to protect vice but rather to stamp it out. In his first act as captain, Nootbaar ordered one of his sergeants to close the club where the police shootout had occurred—the Onion Café.10 What separated Nootbaar from other commanders who policed vice, tolerated it, even profited from it, was that Nootbaar did not: he viewed it as a moral affront to the standards of decency. His entire objective was to close all such establishments once and for all. So rather than tacit acceptance and soft policing, Nootbaar’s tactics were aggressive. For example, during his tenure as commander, Nootbaar expanded the size of the police force in his district, closed hotels and dancehalls that shielded prostitution, raided bars suspected of gambling and disobeying the 1:00 a.m. liquor law; he arrested “immoral women,” chased out panhandlers, sequestered johns, and had police officers canvas the homes of thousands of residents of the Black Belt.11 Aided by new powers granted by the anti-vice Committee of Fifteen, Nootbaar helped to transform policing in Chicago. He did not, however, have equal revulsion for all vice; some activities were more intolerable than others. The form of vice that disgusted him more than any other was interracial socializing, dancing, and sex, which took place in the Black and Tan cabarets inside the Black Belt. For Nootbaar, Black and Tans were an affront to the morality of white women and a sign of the impending destruction of whiteness. This is illustrated in a controversy he was embroiled in regarding a Black and Tan. In fall of 1917, three years after his promotion, the celebrated captain stood before the police board on charges of having violated state law by issuing an order to forbid social intermingling between whites and Blacks in a South Side Black and Tan café. Captain Nootbaar had shut down the café and issued a police order against Black/white socializing, drinking, and dancing. According to Nootbaar, the order was issued “to clean up vice conditions in the cafés and cabarets.” When asked about the charges the Captain argued: I believe I had a legitimate right, when young white girls were found dancing and drinking with Negro men, to issue an order to stop this on the grounds that places which permitted such things were disorderly. No such place is reputable when young white girls are allowed to drink and dance with Negro men. I maintain that no white woman is respectable who goes to places like the Onion Café.12
7/2/15 2:45 PM
policing interr acial se x · 15
The Captain punctuated his comments by saying, “I would shoot my wife and daughter if I found them in such a place.”13 Captain Nootbaar’s use of police power to interrupt social interaction between Black men and white women at a South Side café is a portal into the complex uses of carceral power in Chicago. On the surface, Nootbaar’s use of policing seems solely about denying interracial socializing and sex, but more was at stake. Issuing the order criminalized Black male–white female socializing and sex, reinforcing the sociospatial boundaries between Blacks and whites. Issuing the order also shored up or consolidated European ethnic identity into the expanding racial configuration of whiteness. Policing helped Nootbaar, a first-generation immigrant from Germany, shore up his own racial identity through reinforcing racist heteronormative masculinity. By placing boundaries around white women’s sexuality and using policing as a tool to do so, Nootbaar was able to shed his ethnic identity and enter whiteness. This point is painfully demonstrated in the use of police power to separate Blacks and whites in public. Nootbaar’s police order also tells the paradoxical story of the different ways Black Chicago confronted policing. Many Blacks vigorously opposed the policing of their community. It was seen by most as a nuisance at best and a signifier of racial discrimination at worse. However, for others, particularly the Black middle class, supporting the efforts of police represented an opportunity to demonstrate to the world that Black people were not prone to crime, proving to white Chicago that Black people were concerned about crime, law, and order. Before telling that part of the story, I want to paint a picture of the underworld Nootbaar fought against.
The Geography of Interracial Social Space in Chicago In the early part of the twentieth century Black/white interracial sexual relations carved out spaces of libidinal pleasure within the Black Belt. Forced there after successful campaigns to close down vice in the segregated Levee district, these spaces of Black/white pleasure, what Kevin Mumford terms “interzones,” operated outside the larger legal, racial, and sexual framework that guided the early-twentieth-century racial and sexual politics.14 Against the backdrop of the Mann Act,15 which effectively made interracial socializing, sex, and marriage illegal, the interzones changed the nature of sex work in Chicago by creating an underworld for such activities to take place.16 Progressive social reformers significantly influenced the political debates about
7/2/15 2:45 PM
16 . chap ter 1 interzones. Their response to vice—reforming the wayward habits of women and men—was influenced by the increasing demographic changes taking place in the city and the implications that held for vice districts.17 Threatened by the interracial sexual dynamics of vice in the Black Belt and emboldened by the Progressives’ reform initiatives, Chicago city officials took a stance against the interzones. City officials, particularly Progressive reformers, had deep reservations about vice in the Black Belt and were at odds with what they called the “deviant” sex happening within the interzones. However, they were unable to eliminate it. Part of the difficulty was its location in the Black community. Black and Tans were clandestine nightclubs. In addition, they did not require much in terms of resources to function. So whenever the police would shut one down, it would move to another location and reopen. Furthermore, Black and Tans were in demand; with the popularity of “slumming” and a growing fascination with Black sexuality among the white middle class, the city was unable to put them out of business.18 However, by the dawn of the twentieth century, interracial socializing in Chicago had become more stigmatized.19 Yet in spite of displeasure from Progressive reformers, a new federal policy conspired against them: prohibition. The Volstead Act of 1919 outlawed alcohol. Unbeknownst to its proponents, prohibition enabled an economic underworld to prosper, a world where bootleg booze was trafficked, giving rise to a spatial underworld of speakeasies, backroom clubs, and underground bars that served alcohol. And in those clandestine spaces, in those backrooms, interracial socializing, dancing, and sex thrived.20 Because these nightclubs existed underground, away from the eyes of neighbors and parents, young whites who frequented them “challenged the bounds of sexual respectability” and racial difference that divided Blacks and whites in the city during the daytime.21 Nevertheless, cross-racial sex in the Black and Tans ultimately served to reinscribe racial hierarchy. “Slumming it” in Black and Tans enabled whites to put on public display alternative forms of sexuality made possible by the liberties afforded white people in a culture that saw their sexuality as normal. White participation in Black and Tans only worked to prove and promote ideas of Black sexual deviance, because it put white sexuality in contact with Black sexuality, allowing whites to shore up their sexuality and ultimately reinforce white supremacy.22 Black and Tans were tolerated because they were located inside Black communities. Characterized as deviant, Black geographies have always been seen as a signifier of difference.23 The deviance associated with Black and white socializing and the vice that surrounded it in the Black and Tans became constitutive
7/2/15 2:45 PM
policing interr acial se x · 17
of Black geographies. As a result, the act of sex across the color line was also bound to it. White women who entered Black geographies for sex entered a zone labeled as pathological and deviant, which put at risk their own racial and gendered reputations. In Black and Tans, they could drink and listen to jazz; they could dance with men of different races; and if they chose, they could use one of the establishment’s “hidden rooms” for a sexual encounter.24 It was within clandestine spaces of the Black and Tans that the dominant sexual practice that separated Blacks and whites was reimagined. In the Black and Tans participants learned that the sexuality of segregation and interracial desire had a geography. That geography was the underworld of the Black Belt. Black men in particular learned that crossing the color line outside the context of the interzones evoked hostility and danger, proving to them that sociospatial boundaries that separated Black and white were most ardently expressed through socializing and sex.
Carceral Power and Constructing Whiteness Max Nootbaar was part of a class of Germans who sought to exercise carceral power rather than be subject to it. For Nootbaar, policing was not only a means of accessing class power; more important, policing also made it possible for him to shed ethnic identifications and amalgamate into whiteness. Policing also provided new avenues for white ethnics to access work. Nootbaar joined the Chicago police force in 1896. A graduate of Heidelberg University in Heidelberg, Germany, Nootbaar was a decorated and celebrated officer. His colleagues saw him as the “most cultured man on the Chicago police force.” Before becoming an officer, Nootbaar served as secretary to the Army General in the United States. He was an aid to the Austrian government at the Chicago Colombian exposition in 1883, and he also served as secretary to the American Council in Hamburg.25 As a middle-class immigrant, his university training and pedigree separated him from the masses of immigrants descending on the United States in search of industrial jobs. Nootbaar was part of the German diaspora that brought hundreds of thousands of Germans into Chicago during the middle and later part of the nineteenth century. Germans were the largest ethnic group to migrate into Chicago during that time. According to the 1850 census, Germans constituted 25 percent of the city’s population, surpassing even the Irish.26 As a result, Germans played a central role in the longstanding ethnic identity of the city and in city politics, a fact enabled by the Illinois legislature’s allowing immigrants, who were not yet naturalized citizens, to vote.27
7/2/15 2:45 PM
18 . chap ter 1 Germans were also vital to industrial manufacturing. From the 1860s until the 1890s Chicago experienced a massive industrial boom manifested in large part by slaughterhouses and the meatpacking industry, which absorbed a sizable portion of Chicago’s European immigrant population throughout the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Germans, along with the Irish, worked in the notorious packinghouses and stockyard, captured brilliantly in Upton Sinclair’s novel The Jungle. It was this industry that earned Chicago its dubious nickname, “hog butcher of the world.”28 Situated within the core of the city, the stockyards produced massive amounts of waste that polluted European migrants’ neighborhoods. Located adjacent to the stockyards, these communities suffered from sewage-related diseases like typhoid, cholera, and erysipelas.29 By the turn of the twentieth century, as Eastern Europeans began to dominate the industry, the Irish and Germans found new avenues for work in the public sector. Like other German immigrants, Nootbaar was able to find his way into the Chicago Police Department amid the changes taking place in industrial labor; many of his compatriots became firefighters. These public-sector jobs enabled many German immigrants to move into the middle class, which corresponded with their political emergence in the 1870s.30 Public-sector work, however, did more than usher them into the petite bourgeoisie; it also played an important role in moving them into whiteness. The whiteness of industrial workers became a way to respond to “a field of dependency on wage labor and to the necessities of capitalist work discipline.”31 As white workers began to see race and class expressed through industrial (or public sector) labor, they increasingly saw Blacks who did not work in the same fields because of discrimination as antithetical to modern puritanical values. While this was particularly prevalent among Irish-American workers, it was also central to the way German workers saw themselves. This racial class formation, among many things, made it possible for ethnic whites to have unencumbered access to labor. This was the case for both the Germans and Irish in the Chicago Police Department.32 German immigrants not only received a better wage in their new positions but were also given “public deference” and admitted to the class of white Chicagoans.33 Becoming a police officer transformed Nootbaar’s relationship to whiteness. It made it possible for him to shed his German identity and become a white American. Doing this enabled him to bypass the industrial (immigrant) labor of the stockyard and access new class and racial privileges. When seen through this lens, Nootbaar’s intolerance toward the Black and Tans and his need to protect white women from Black men was not only over compensa-
7/2/15 2:45 PM
policing interr acial se x · 19
tory and tied to reinforcing heteropatriarchal values but also situated him within whiteness. Indeed, reinforcing the color line by placing boundaries around white women’s sexuality made Nootbaar a kind of protector and subsequent producer of whiteness. He was able to do this by using the power of the state to place limits on the people white women socialized with and had sex with. In doing this, Nootbaar inadvertently established the police force as protectors of whiteness and heteropatriarchy. This raises the question: Why, despite his relatively recent immigration to the United States, did Nootbaar have such a hatred for Black male–white female socializing and sex? What informed his perspective on the topic? Part of the answer to this question was in the racial consciousness that new immigrants adopted, one that made anti-Black racism a prerequisite of citizenship. Historian of whiteness David Roediger argues that many European immigrants were hostile to Blacks because they recognized that Blacks were at the bottom of the racial hierarchy, a place they did not want to be.34 Therefore, in order to create ego enhancement and upward mobility, European immigrants were racist toward Blacks. Another reason was the growing discursive production of Blacks as lascivious and erotically charged that emerged after the Civil War. This discourse fit neatly into the growing fears whites in both the North and the South had over the possibility of “race suicide” and “amalgamation.” Nootbaar’s intolerance toward interracial socializing and sex was aided by these discourses.
Regulating Black Masculinity One cannot understand the anxiety European immigrants like Nootbaar had over Black/white sex and socializing without first considering the role of the U.S. South, the site of “painful geographies of displacement and dislocation.”35 Indeed, the U.S. South was the place where the U.S. regime of structural racism and racist violence in the form of chattel slavery, lynchings, and Jim Crow were performed and constituted. These practices “left indelible marks on the landscape”36 Those forms of racial violence, which also installed racial hierarchy, were instituted into law and were part of the political system of Southern States.37 After a short period during Reconstruction in which Blacks were enfranchised, Southern planters reinscribed white supremacy by imposing “legal segregation of the races onto the landscape,” or what is commonly known as Jim Crow segregation.38 The ideological anchor for Nootbaar’s hatred of Black male–white female socializing has its roots in the U.S. South during the post-Reconstruction
7/2/15 2:45 PM
20 . chap ter 1 period, a time Du Bois described as the South’s “relapse into barbarism,” when Black/white sex was constructed as a deviant form of sexual activity, and Black men were projected as violent, lascivious predators. This depiction of Black men went a long way toward giving rise to an intricate network of geographic mechanisms and unspeakable acts that sought to control Black sexuality.39 The primary function of this color line was to act as a sexual divider between Black men and white women.40 “What was it about black men,” asks Joanne Nagel, “that caused such outrage and hysteria in the minds of whites, particularly white men?”41 Part of the answer to this question is fear. White men in particular feared “that black men’s sexuality could be wielded as a weapon of vengeance against white men through sexual assaults on white women,” causing hysteria among Southern white men and giving rise to racialized violence throughout the South.42 In the immediate aftermath of the Civil War, Black men were symbolically transformed from “emasculated slaves into vengeful rapists.”43 This perspective stands in stands in stark contrast to the systemic rape of Black women by white men during slavery. Nevertheless, the myth of the Black rapist became the cornerstone of this projection of Black masculinity. This discursive construction coincided with the emergence of Southern whiteness as a cultural and racial landmark that white Southerners saw as in need of protection in the aftermath of emancipation.44 This understanding of Black masculinity was largely constituted through the conflation of Black mobility with “sexual agency.” In part, this conflation is correct; emancipation did give rise to Black sexual agency, but its articulation was overwhelmingly intraracial, not interracial. Indeed, for the majority of Black people the sexual agency emancipation afforded them meant, for example, that Black women were no longer subject to the kind of institutionalized rape that defined slavery.45 It also meant that Black men could engage in sexual relationships with Black people that were not controlled, policed, or commodified by slave masters. In short, Black sexual agency was about Black people, not white people.46 And therefore it was not (or should not have been) a threat to whites. However, white men in particular saw Black sexual agency as a threat to white Southerners. Instead, Black sexuality was a threat to the interlocking systems of white supremacy and heteropatriarchy. As a response to the perceived threat of Black sexual agency, whites put in place a geographic system of control. This system sought to negate physical interaction across racial lines by instituting lines of demarcation that created separate spheres for Blacks and whites. This color line was constructed not only to recapture labor power from freed slaves, to re-enslave them as Du
7/2/15 2:45 PM
policing interr acial se x · 21
Bois argues,47 but it also functioned to regulate their sexuality.48 The lines of racial demarcation were also racial sexual frontiers.49 The geography of race and sex that emerged in the aftermath of the Civil War functioned to delimit Black male and white female interaction (while continuing to enable white men’s access to Black women) by controlling Black male sexuality.50 This was a fundamental part of the ideology of white supremacy and the driving force behind the spatial practices that underwrote Jim Crow segregation. “The spatiality of Jim Crow,” writes David Delaney, made “exclusion” and “denial” fundamental to its function. Jim Crow created “durable lines and spaces” that had real meanings and provoked stiff consequences if disobeyed.51 The exclusion and denial function of Jim Crow segregation sought not only to keep Blacks and whites separate, emphasizing Black inferiority, but also to keep Black men and white women apart physically. Separating Blacks and whites on a bus, for example, ensured the white supremacist state that Black men and white women would never share the same space, their hands would never hold the same pole; because Blacks had to get on the back of the bus, they would never physically interact. Jim Crow regulated interactions between Blacks and whites by using lines of demarcation to de-eroticize the landscape. For white Southerners, this new racial geography was a check on Black men’s sexuality and a means of securing the status quo.
The Geography of Lynching Regulating Black men’s sexuality was glaringly demonstrated by making the larger public space of the U.S. South inhospitable and dangerous. Vagrancy laws made public blackness akin to a crime. Police were used to curtail their mobility. The most effective means of regulating Black male sexuality on a large scale was the existence of bloodthirsty lynch mobs. They mutilated and publicly tortured Black people throughout the South, creating a spectacle so horrifying that it would turn the stomachs of the European monarchs Foucault wrote of in Disciple and Punish. Lynching was a sexual and gendered form of racial politics that emerged alongside Reconstruction.52 Black men and women were lynched frequently in the South from the Reconstruction period until the end of the Civil Rights movement.53 Built on the fear, fantasy, and fascination with Black sexuality, this form of sexual violence used the conflation of emancipation and sexual autonomy as threat. The myth of Black males as sexual predators and the “thin smokescreen” of protecting white womanhood were used to justify terrorism of Black people.54 At its core, lynching was a pedagogical practice.
7/2/15 2:45 PM
22 . chap ter 1 The public nature of lynching taught Black men their spatial limitations visà-vis white women by using terrorism to reinforce those boundaries.55 Lynching is seen as a Southern phenomenon. However, its ideological and spatial context resonated within the Northern landscape as well. While lynchings happened in Southern states like Mississippi, Arkansas, and Georgia during the end of the nineteenth and beginning of the twentieth centuries, they also simultaneously occurred in the state of Illinois. Though the state of Illinois never had the number of lynchings that occurred in Southern states, the punitive continuity between the two geographies illustrates the extension of tactics of white mob violence to the North. The same ideology was used in both places. This is demonstrated expressly through the lynchings that took place in Illinois during the turn of the century. No lynchings ever took place in the city of Chicago. As the economic and political center of the state, a lynching there would have been seen as archaic at best and politically out of touch with Chicago’s politics. The closest came in 1915 when a Black man named William Jones narrowly escaped a lynching on the 200 block of West Monroe on the city’s West Side.56 Similar to the Southern context, Jones was beaten and assaulted by white men who claimed he had assaulted a white woman. All of the states’ lynchings took place in the smaller towns outside of Chicago. In Pinckneyville, Alonzo Holly, arrested for an alleged assault on a white woman was dragged from his jail cell and hung by a mob in 1880.57 In 1895, a Black man was lynched in Danville, a town 140 miles south of Chicago.58 Another lynching occurred in Danville in 1903 after J. D. Mayfield was accused of killing a white man, Henry Gutterman. After Mayfield’s arrest, a mob stormed the jail where he was being held, beat him mercilessly, strung him up on a telephone pole, and shot him several times.59 In that same year, a schoolteacher named David J. Wyatt, who was accused of killing a white man, was ripped from his jail cell by an angry mob and hung in the public square.60 In 1908, an eighty-year-old Black man, William Donnegan, was lynched in the state capitol of Springfield. His niece, Carrie Hamilton, argued that he was lynched because he was married to a white woman and owned property, to which some whites objected. 61 These lynchings were not isolated incidents or anomalies. They were a Northern extension of the South’s geopolitical order that emerged against the backdrop of Black emancipation. This is demonstrated in the narrative that surrounds many of the Illinois lynchings. In two of the above cases the stereotype of Black male violence against white women (or being married to a white woman) was the justification for racist mob violence. I raise this point because it mirrors the discursive production of Black men in the South
7/2/15 2:45 PM
policing interr acial se x · 23
as threats to white women’s safety—a point that Nootbaar articulated when he issued the order at the Onion Café—and the subsequent campaign of unspeakable acts of terrorism whites used against Blacks throughout the South. Like their Southern brethren, white men in these Illinois towns called on the noose and the gun to remind Black men of their sexual limits. In these cases the lynch mob emerged as the protector of white womanhood; and the public display of the battered, shot, and hanging Black person was not only an articulation of the brutality of white supremacy and heteropatriarchy but also a warning of what happens to Black men who transgress racial and sexual lines. As in the South, lynchings in Illinois were used to create the absence of sanctuary for Black men. And when Blacks migrated to Chicago as World War I raged in Europe, the discursive production of them as violent, rapacious, and lascivious echoed in the Northern mind.
Crime, Sex, and Policing Nootbaar did not develop his ideas about Black men in a vacuum. A network of discourses informed his thinking, of which social science scholarship played a critical role. At the end of the nineteenth century social scientists produced scholarship that examined the ability of Black people to live outside the confines of slavery. This body of scholarship argued that Black people were biologically incapable of living in civil society. Such thinking was helped in no small part by the meteoric rise of the eugenics movement, which sought to make the case for Black inferiority and white supremacy. These scholars popularized the idea that Black people were criminally and sexually deviant. They argued that without the structure of slavery to control them, Black criminality and sexual deviance would run wild. Examples include Eugene R. Carson’s “The Future of the Colored Race in the United States from an Ethnic and Medical Standpoint” and Charles Richmond Henderson’s study, An Introduction to the Study of the Dependent, Defective and Delinquent Classes.62 Texts such as these played a key role in the migration of Jim Crow readings of blackness beyond the geography of the South. Fredrick Hoffman, one of the more prominent race theorists at the time, took up the question of Blacks in postslavery society in Race Traits and the Tendencies of the American Negro (1896). The book was wildly popular. He toured throughout the United States, lecturing on his findings. Hoffman, a German immigrant who like Nootbaar shed his ethnic identity and adopted whiteness, argued that Black sexual perversity and Black criminality would wreak havoc on Northern cities. His ideas provided the empirical data to back
7/2/15 2:45 PM
24 . chap ter 1 up the cultural and anecdotal representations of Black people as pathological. But more than that, Hoffman’s ideas justified the segregationist policies and the expansion of policing within the Black Belt in order to constrain the perceived sexual deviance and criminality of Blacks. Contrary to their image of openness and tolerance, Northern cities were equally obsessed with preventing trips across the color line; anxiety over crossing the Black/white divide was not exclusive to the South. As sociologists Drake and Cayton wrote in 1945, “The fear of intermarriage plays a dominant role in keeping Negros ‘in their place.’ It may be the justification for not hiring Negro men as elevator operators or busboys, or an excuse for residential segregation.”63 As had been the case in much of the white South in the years after the Civil War, Black sexuality became the major concern for debates about the “proper place of the Negro.”64 In the case of the South, Jim Crow racism was used as a mechanism to regulate Black men’s sexuality. In Chicago, the city that attracted the largest number of Black migrants in the North, fear and anxieties over Black male sexuality give rise to a Northern version of Jim Crow. Though not as blatant, Northern Jim Crow tried to manage and control which bodies interacted and how they interacted. Hoffman’s Race Traits was a warning about the migration of Blacks out of the South into the industrial North. The book captured the racist nature of postemancipation theories of Black criminality and sexual deviance. In it Hoffman argued that “crime, pauperism, and sexual immorality are without question the greatest hindrances to social and economic progress” of Black people.65 His analysis contended that without the strict controls of slavery, Black people could not function. They were incapable, he warned, of selfcontrol. To this end, Hoffman’s research simply rehashes widely accepted ideas about the benevolence of slavery and the need for a system to control emancipated Blacks. Yet, at the same time, Hoffman’s research tells us something about the ideological work necessary to construct racial hierarchy. His study was the first analysis of Black criminality that included national statistics, which he contended proved moral deficiency, and his work influenced the discourse on modern race relations in the United States to the degree that it helped to frame Black people as sexual deviants and criminals.66 Because moral deficiency was part of Black people’s biology, he argued that such an inherent condition made it impossible for Black peoples to live as free, modern subjects. Crime statistics on Black people, he argued, proved Black peoples’ criminality, and their assumed sexual deviance evidenced it. However, more than painting Black migrants as criminals and deviants, Hoffman’s analysis influenced Northern liberalism’s response to Black migration.
7/2/15 2:45 PM
policing interr acial se x · 25
Hoffman’s argument of inherent Black criminality sought to combat Northern liberals’ arguments that Southern racism, not race, was the reason for Black people’s condition. Using data from Northern cities like Chicago, Hoffman showed that the rates of criminality were higher in the North than in the Jim Crow South. In this sense, his research justified the use of segregation and mob violence in the South, while also issuing a warning to Northern liberals as Blacks migrated.67 His implicit critique of Northern liberalism was a way to spread his message about the threat Black migration posed and the need for Black containment beyond the South. Black Northern migration, he warned, represented danger to white urban dwellers. “Africa in the city,” Hoffman claimed, would result in large numbers of Black people “crowding into a few wards.” He demanded that cities prepare by protecting the white population. White people, he exhorted, should “seal themselves off ” from the Black population for their own self-preservation.68 Race Traits was published as Black migration was gaining in speed and size.69 The popularity of the book and the analysis that emerged from it helped to reinforce the expanding boundaries between Blacks and whites in Chicago.70 Race Traits wrote crime onto blackness: to be Black was also to be criminal, Hoffman argued. To that end, Race Traits gave whites in Chicago someone to fear, and Hoffman’s forceful arguments that Northern cities must respond to the impending migration did not go unheeded. By the time World War I began, white Chicagoans became more skeptical of and hostile to Black migration. For example, Chicago newspapers read: “half a million darkies from dixie swarm to the north to better themselves”; “2,000 southern negros arrive in last two days”; “committee to deal with negro influx.”71 Though crime played a significant role in his analysis, it was not the only means through which Hoffman stigmatized Black people. Black sexuality was, he argued, equally pathological and incapable of self-control. Like many in the Jim Crow South, Hoffman rehashes the postemancipation concerns about Black life decoupled from slavery as threat. His position was in line with the way the majority of Southern whites viewed Black sexuality post Civil War: as a sexual threat to whites. As was the case in the years after the Civil War in the South, many whites in Chicago saw social equality as Black people’s attempt to infiltrate white communities. “You cannot mix oil and water,” argued a group of white, middleclass property owners who fought to bar Blacks from their neighborhood.72 White Chicagoans feared that the demand for social equality meant not only social acceptance but also sexual equality.73 Sometimes ascribed to a communist plot, social equality was represented as a threat to white supremacy and a destabilization of the color line.74
7/2/15 2:45 PM
26 . chap ter 1
Modernizing the Police The expansion of police power into the Black Belt was a consequence of Hoffman’s ideas. He saw police power as an antidote to Black criminality and sexual deviance. In that sense his ideas were the ideological undercurrent that informed Northern sensibilities regarding Black migration. This is evinced by the stark change in the public perception of interracial socializing at the end of the nineteenth century and the explosion of hostility toward it at the beginning twentieth century, seen in the rise of laws that forbade and criminalized interracial sex, marriage, and socializing; and it informed the practice of institutional segregation. Hoffman’s argument about the impending doom for Northern cities with respect to Black migration came on the heels of successful crusades to close down the Black and Tan cafés in the Black Belt. As a result, policing emerged as the tool to control not only interracial socializing and sex but also Black people. Hoffman’s words found a larger audience at precisely the moment Northern cities began to think seriously about crime. Progressive wars against vice and other forms of crime made policing the political signifier of a healthy society. Chicago, like New York, because of its well-known vice district, made vice its central target. And police emerged as the mechanism to control it. In the aftermath of Hoffman’s proclamation, Nootbaar’s use of police power to shut down the Onion Café in 1914 reflected a growing ideology among the police that police power could organize and control Black people in the city. And one of the police department’s primary uses of this power was to clean up interracial vice in the Black Belt. The movement of vice into the Black Belt by 1913, along with the political backlash from its expansion and the growing numbers of Blacks moving into the city, created the context for the expansion of police power. This expansion occurred at precisely the moment when changing conceptions of police power began to take hold in the early twentieth century. Central to this new form was using police as crimefighting agents, expanding their duties and creating specialized agencies.75 For instance, police officers who focused on specific kinds of crime were initiated during this period; their office was called the “vice squad.” These offices received specialized training and at times worked undercover. In addition, the creation of citywide police forces destroyed the ward-based system of policing popular throughout the late nineteenth century. This new police force was able to create precincts, consolidating its power in an attempt to concentrate on particular geographic areas, which worked to extend state power. Requests for new officers to expand police powers were granted in this period as well. In the spring of 1923 police chief Fitzpatrick was awarded 145
7/2/15 2:45 PM
policing interr acial se x · 27
new officers as patrolmen,76 many of whom would be used for new strategic policing tactics that included, for example, raids on suspected “vice dens” and door-to-door searches in the Black Belt for illegal activities. To better record the activities of suspected sex workers, a “new indexing system” was installed to record information about women found in vice areas in an effort to track their movements to better ascertain who was and who was not a prostitute.77 In addition to these new policing mechanisms, the Committee of Fifteen, a council of citizens and Progressive Era politicians who fought against vice— particularly prostitution or what was termed “white slavery”—established new anti-vice courts to oversee the arrest, prosecution, and incarceration of men involved in prostitution rings. Despite the anti-Black nature of sexual regulation and Nootbaar’s use of it to drive a wedge between interracial liaisons, whites were not the only ones in favor of sexual regulation for Blacks. The Black middle class also pushed for it.
Black Middle Class and Sexual Regulation Scholars Marlon Ross and Hazel Carby have done important work on the role the Black middle class played in trying to place limits on Black sexuality.78 In their work they demonstrate that during Black migration, the middle class and some intellectuals thought Black sexuality in the city represented a threat to the moral authority of Black middle-class values and Black civil rights. Their thoughts had national implications that shaped how Blacks and whites understood interracial sex and marriage for decades to come. But more than that, their analysis forged an alliance between white law enforcement and Black communities, helping to cement policing within the Black Belt. In doing this, however, Blacks did not draw on the same racist logic as whites; they knew that Blacks were not biologically prone to sexual deviance and crime. Nevertheless, they gave legitimacy to the racist representation whites held by making crime the defining issue of the Black Belt. The Black middle class couched their disapproval of crime in terms of the negative role it played in prohibiting upward mobility, arguing that it reinscribed racism and denied the ability of Blacks to gain respect (conceivably from whites). To the Black middle class the existence of Black and Tans in the Black Belt gave credence to claims of sexual deviance. As a response, Black middle-class leaders tried to “de-sex the race” and “police” Black sexuality by using respectability to suppress and depopularize interracial sex, arguing that such practices were dangerous for the race.79 Politically, interracial sex caused much consternation in both Black and white communities across the nation. Black middle-class public figures feared
7/2/15 2:45 PM
28 . chap ter 1 that lower-class migrants would erode their attempts to present a respectable image of the race. As a result, they saw interracial sex as a threat to racial progress, a position that mirrored that of the white political establishment. To that end, closing down the interzones in the Black Belt figured prominently in Black middle-class sexual politics.80 The Black middle class saw themselves as vital agents in the efforts to reign in crime and what they saw as uncontrolled Black sexuality in the city. This group was part of the New Negro Movement. In the early twentieth century a generation of educated Black men and women—who came to adulthood without the subjugation of slavery in their own past—sought to advance the race in the face of white supremacy by being agents of “racial uplift,” in many cases doing so by being representatives of respectability, responsibility, appropriate manhood, and sexual self-constraint.81 The New Negro sought to lead the race in a new direction. However, they felt that part of their leadership required the management of poor Blacks. The New Negro confronted white supremacy in ways the previous generation had not, most explicitly in the intellectual and political arena. In other ways, though, those leading the New Negro Movement reproduced the same positions as their white oppressors. This was particularly the case with respect to gender and sexual politics. For the New Negro, modernity’s promise was double edged: while they pushed for the modernization of the race, there was also trepidation, which they expressed in their concerns about Black migration and sexual freedom. Many New Negro leaders were concerned that Black sexuality would be unchecked in the North, and they were unsure whether poor Black people could handle the sexual freedom the city brought. “Black migrants,” argues Hazel Carby, “came to be regarded as easily victimized subjects who quickly succumbed to the forces of vice and degradation.”82 They argued that “the freer atmosphere of the Northern city only increases the seductiveness of moral/sexual license” of poor Blacks.83 The Black middle class feared that members of the lower classes would move to the city and erode the New Negroes’ attempts to demonstrate that Blacks could also be modern and middle class like whites.84 While the New Negroes could not help but identify with lower-class migrants because of their shared racial history, their identification nevertheless was limited by their fears that poor Blacks in the city would prove scholars like Hoffman correct. It is these fears that ultimately limited the racial-solidarity discourse of the New Negro politics.85 Such sexual politics had significant influence on how New Negro leaders and scholars thought about interracial sex and marriage.86 They argued that interracial unions undermined Black communities. W. E. B. Du Bois, for example, argued that Black people did not want to intermarry. In an essay titled
7/2/15 2:45 PM
policing interr acial se x · 29
“Miscegenation,” Du Bois argued that “the real problem of miscegenation in America is not a question of physical possibility. . . . Nor is it a question of its possible cultural results.”87 Du Bois ultimately concedes to the belief that amalgamation is inevitable. The question for Du Bois was regarding “how fast and under what conditions this amalgamation ought to take place,” and because of the power asymmetry between Blacks and whites, Du Bois wondered if miscegenation would produce Black exploitation.88 Du Bois’s position is therefore a tacit acceptance of social and cultural opposition to interracial sex and marriage, a position many Black liberal thinkers at the time adopted, which was strikingly in concert with their white counterparts. Liberal tensions between interracial sex and marriage frame Black political debates about the interzones. Black respectability served as “a form of resistance to the negative stigmas and caricatures about the morality” of Black people.89 Black middle-class leaders in effect argued that the racial and sexual politics of the interzones put at risk the politics of respectability Blacks were trying to create as they adopted middle-class aspirations that, in their minds, would push Black people toward modernity and ultimately full citizenship. The assumption rested on a simple premise—that tolerating Black/white sex would feed anti-Black racism. To alleviate the pressure resulting from this point of view, liberal Black leaders sided with whites and opposed interracial sexual liaisons. Nevertheless, the Black middle class had reasons to view interracial liaisons as a threat, but they were not the same reasons as whites had. Against the torrent of claims that Black men were molesting white women in the South, interzones fueled white racism by giving credence to the idea that Black people were fundamentally different, morally repugnant, and lecherous. Yet, the politics of Black respectability, in seeking to alleviate Black people from further discrimination by imposing strict standards on what constituted appropriate Black sexuality, effectively reified the belief that interracial sex was non-normative and incommensurate with blackness.90 Against this backdrop, Black leaders in Chicago called on police to suppress and drive out interracial vice. In the wake of lynchings in Springfield and other Illinois towns and the New Negro rhetoric against vice and interracial sex and marriage, Black law-and-order societies emerged. These societies called for more police presence in the vice district91 and viewed anti-vice positions as a way to defend Blacks against claims of criminality and immorality. Unfortunately, their wish was granted: police entered the Black Belt hell-bent on ridding the community of vice, able to exploit this political opening to close down cafés and dancehalls, arrest sex workers and johns, and issue racist and illegal police ordnances to separate Black men and
7/2/15 2:45 PM
30 . chap ter 1 white women. These law-and-order societies effectively helped to grease the wheels that rolled carceral power into Black Chicago.
Carceral Power in the Black Belt Police wars against vice were ultimately successful. A “lid” was put on vice. However, it was not the kind of lid Nootbaar imagined. He wanted Black and Tans gone, but that did not happen; instead, Nootbaar helped to fix policing to the Black Belt, a move which unfortunately was supported by the law-andorder element of the Black middle class that saw expanded police powers as a way to expunge vice and reinforce respectable sexuality. By the time vice was firmly situated within the Black Belt by the 1920s, not only had the police been tied to a larger system of bureaucratic agencies, they had also taken on the role of managing the “dangerous classes”—immigrants, the poor, and most especially Black migrants.92 In Chicago, modern policing emerged as a system of control to respond to interracial socializing and sex.93 Nootbaar was never able to stamp out Black and Tan vice, only able to control its spread. Once the Black and Tans entered the Black Belt, they never left. To that end, policing in Chicago during World War I functioned as a way to manage Blacks themselves and, most important, to manage the spread of interracial socializing and sex by keeping it in the Black Belt. This was significant because policing and the carceral network that it was part of profoundly influenced the health of the Black Belt in Chicago for decades to come. Black migrants who moved into the Black Belt during the first stage of the Great Migration were confronted with concentrated forms of carceral power unseen in the South. It was in this moment that urban racialized forms of carceral power emerged. Regrettably, the political leadership in the Black Belt did not consider the negative impact of police presence in their community until it was too late. With little opposition, carceral power was able to expand. Instead, many members of the Black middle class who led the charge against interracial vice were more concerned with the political and racial meaning of interracial sex in Black communities and what it said about blackness. For them the discursive position that Black sexuality held needed to be countered by a more pious and respectable sexual ethic. One of the first people to think critically about the consequences of carceral power in Black Chicago was author Richard Wright, whose prose about the lives of Black migrants in the years after World War I is at once an eloquent telling of the downside of Northern migration and a reading of carceral power.
7/2/15 2:45 PM
2 “Our Prison” Kitchenettes, Carceral Power, and Black Masculinity during the Interwar Years But now I looked back of them and felt the pinch and pressure of the environment that gave them their pitch and peculiar kind of being. I began to feel with my mind the inner tensions of the people I met. I don’t mean to say that I think that environment makes consciousness . . . but I do say that I felt and still feel that the environment supplies the instrumentalities through which the organism expresses itself, and if that environment is warped or tranquil, the mode and manner of behavior will be affected toward deadlocking tensions or orderly fulfillment and satisfaction. —Richard Wright, “How ‘Bigger’ Was Born,” Native Son
A Literary Geography In 12 Million Black Voices Richard Wright argues that kitchenettes were “our prison, our death sentence without a trial, the new form of mob violence that assaults not only the lone individual, but all of us.”1 Wright, like the imprisoned intellectuals who would come after him, saw the expression of carceral power in the public space of Black Chicago. Wright centered his analysis on the tiny, one-room apartments—kitchenettes—Black migrants on Chicago’s South Side were forced to live in when they migrated to the city between World War I and World War II. Wright produced deep and penetrating social criticism in his fiction and nonfiction, which James Baldwin described as the “protest” quality of his work.2 His literary and political compass points firmly in the direction of the Black Radical tradition, a form of political consciousness that led Black
7/2/15 2:45 PM
32 . chap ter 2 activists and artists to discover an “older tradition” of Black politics that predated European models.3 Wright’s intellectual and political odyssey took him from Marxism to existentialism and finally into Black Nationalism.4 These political ideologies surfaced in his writing, particularly in his novels Native Son, The Outsider, and American Hunger. These works chronicled his relationship with the philosophies of Marxism (Native Son), existentialism (The Outsider), and Black Nationalism (American Hunger). His novels not only chart his migration from Marx to Black radicalism, but he often used them to highlight the existence and effects of anti-Black racism on poor urban Blacks. Early in his writing career, Wright’s Black radicalism brought attention to and promoted critical thought about the impact kitchenettes had on Black migrants. He used this analysis not only to meditate on the racial dynamics of American society but also to show how space and place influenced identity formation. As a result, he used his writing to protest the deplorable conditions Black migrants were forced to live in and to illuminate how it affected them. More than critiquing the conditions of housing, his writings were attentive to the presence of carceral power in Black homes. From the “male-dominated subterranean world,” from which much of his fiction emerged, to the segregated world of the Black Belt, Wright made geography a central part of his analysis. Even when his characters emerged from the underground and moved into homes, they had to be aware “of the prison that may lurk underneath the porches.”5 This lurking prison or extension of carceral mechanisms into Black homes was most clearly expressed in his novel Native Son, where Wright used space and place to examine how the prison lurked within the kitchenette and what effect it had on Black men and their performance of masculinity. The cramped living spaces that contained Black migrants on the South Side were the “instrumentalities through which the organism expresses itself,” or in other words they were the spatial context that informed identity. These forms of housing did not determine identity, but they did help to shape it, especially with regard to Black men and masculinity. In his literary imagination, Wright scribed Black men’s alienation and containment within Jim Crow geographies and Northern ghettos.6 His preoccupation with such themes in the underground produced some of the most-well-known literary characters in the North American canon, including Bigger Thomas in Wright’s acclaimed novel Native Son. The late literary theorist Melvin Dixon argued this novel and its protagonist “establishes both Wrights’ and Bigger’s identity in geographical terms.”7 For these men, the cramped, confining forms of housing they lived under not only illuminated their social position but
7/2/15 2:45 PM
“our prison” · 33
also helped give rise to anger, resentment, hostility, violence, and a desire to flee their confines. This chapter examines the articulation of carceral power in the kitchenettes, expressed in the geography of the spaces themselves, and the effect it had on identity formation. Kitchenettes were small, tight, cramped spaces that many Black migrants in the Black Belt were forced to live in. I argue that the expression of police power that was operating in the Black Belt migrated into the homes of Black migrants. Though not actual prisons, kitchenettes were amenable to the expression of carceral power—particularly containment and restriction—present throughout the Black Belt. Kitchenettes absorbed the exercise of police power that functioned in the general space of the Black Belt and brought it closer to the skin. This made carceral power into a geographic function of power. This is why Wright called kitchenettes a prison—a word that enabled him to address the way these tiny flats enclosed Black people and brought carceral power inside the home and to demonstrate how kitchenettes warehoused Black people. Unable to move to white communities because of housing restrictions, which produced severe overcrowding in Black neighborhoods, kitchenettes were the place and mechanism that enabled Blacks to be packed into the Black Belt. Through their tight and incommodious geography, these one-room shacks jammed with people were an assault on Black dignity and a physical reminder of containment. Kitchenettes also moved the surveillance that operated in the larger Black Belt into the home, denying individual privacy among residents and making the most mundane elements of daily life public. Wright was the most articulate and learned critic of the kitchenette. Living in a kitchenette during his years in Chicago (1927–1937) gave him a firsthand understanding of the way containment extended into Black geographies—this time within the home space. His lived experience in the kitchenette fueled his sociological and literary writings, which enabled him to develop what Dixon termed Wright’s need to understand the “place prescribed” for Black people.8 For Wright, Black people experienced the congestion and containment of kitchenette living not because, as Foucault argued, the power of the prison had come to represent the expression of modern society, but rather because they were poor and Black. Wright’s analysis of the gendered punishment kitchenettes produced is important because it illuminates the divergent and overlapping ways women and men experienced containment and how that experience shaped their lives. While Wright had much to say about both women and men, most of his writings on the kitchenette focused on the plight of Black men in these
7/2/15 2:45 PM
34 . chap ter 2 spaces. Wright argued that the cramped walls of the kitchenettes helped to “warp” the personalities of Black men, making them angry, sometimes violent, and/or forcing them to run away. This, of course, had tremendous negative consequences for Black women. Domestic violence, sexual assault, and even premature death were not uncommon experiences for women in the kitchenette. Wright’s engagement with the kitchenette enabled him to understand the ramifications carceral power had for Black migrants and to develop a prescient analysis of carceral power’s effects on Black Chicago and Black masculinity. In his novels as well as in his sociological writings, Wright demonstrated that kitchenettes played an important role in shaping Black men’s identity, ultimately showing that the physical organization of urban spaces contributed to the well being of the people living in them.
The Kitchenette Kitchenettes were apartments, sometimes attics, and even basements subdivided into smaller individual living quarters. In these “small suites” entire families lived in tiny rooms sometimes no bigger than a bedroom.9 There were various degrees of kitchenettes. Some were upscale. Many G.I.s returning home from World War I lived in them. In Chicago, young white families on the North Side lived in them. Yet much of kitchenette living, especially in Chicago, was poor and Black.10 Kitchenettes were cramped, yes, but they were also disease-ridden, rat-infested forms of housing, and Black migrants were forced to live in them because restrictive covenants barred them from living in most parts of the city. Sociologists St. Clair Drake and Horace Cayton describe kitchenettes as a “one-room household [that] provided an ice-box, a bed, and a gas hot-plate. A bathroom that once served a single family now served six. A building that formerly held sixty families might now have three hundred.”11 Kitchenettes were conceived amid rapid changes in American cities brought on by massive waves of migration from Europe, Asia, Latin America, the American South, and returning soldiers from World War I.12 Kitchenettes were used in large and small cities in the East, South, and Midwest. New York and Chicago were the cities most known for kitchenette housing; although both cities had large populations, the population density and lack of landmass in New York made kitchenettes more heavily utilized over a longer period. Chicago, for instance used kitchenettes until World War II, when a wave of federal dollars created housing projects that replaced them. As large urban centers like New York, Philadelphia, Boston, and Chicago
7/2/15 2:45 PM
“our prison” · 35
swelled amid the rising tide of immigration, a housing crisis was created in the process. Kitchenettes were seen as the antidote to this crisis.13 In Chicago, though some Eastern Europeans and whites lived in them, Black migrants were the primary occupants of kitchenettes.14 Chicago’s kitchenettes came into existence in 1916.15 They were made from old mansions and apartments occupied primarily by European immigrants on the city’s South Side.16 “When the white folks move, the Bosses of the Buildings let the property to us at rentals higher than those the whites paid,” said Wright.17 When whites moved out, he argued, the owners of the buildings “take these old houses and convert them into ‘kitchenettes,’ and then rent them to us at rates so high that they make fabulous fortunes before the houses are too old for habitation.”18 European immigrants were able to move out of the apartments and mansions that kitchenettes were derived from because of expanding conceptions of race that allowed more European immigrants to claim whiteness.19 During the interwar years, the discourse around race changed. In that period race moved from being biological to cultural—race, which throughout the nineteenth century was seen as a biological phenomenon, became a cultural one. And European immigrants, particularly those from Ireland and from Southern and Eastern Europe who were denied access to whiteness, were given entrance. As a result, ethnic distinctions fell away and European immigrants were able to move into white communities, where they ultimately intermarried.20 This racial democratization opened up economic opportunities and housing options, making it possible for whites to leave what would become the Black Belt and enter what the poet Claude McKay termed the “White House” the “vast modern edifice of American Industry from which Negroes were effectively barred as a group.”21 For European immigrants and whites alike, kitchenettes were not the vermin-filled firetraps that Blacks lived in. A 1932 report on Black and white housing conditions argued that the overall quality of housing for whites living in kitchenettes was better than for Blacks.22 The study found that when whites lived in kitchenettes, the number of people per bath was lower (ten), there were more toilets (one for every three people), the piping was better, the physical condition of the apartment was more secure; the electrical wiring was newer, the back porch was in good condition, the units were free of vermin and were cheaper to rent; the walls were painted or wallpapered, the rooms had better lighting and working light fixtures, better access to natural light, better ventilation, sturdy and varnished stairs, and fewer people per dwelling.23
7/2/15 2:45 PM
36 . chap ter 2 Blacks did not enjoy these privileges. For them, kitchenette housing was dangerous and offensive. There were more people per bath (sixteen) and more people per toilet (fourteen); the piping was leaky and corroded; the physical condition of the apartment was shoddy; the electrical wiring was exposed and faulty; the units were infested with rats and on average more expensive to rent; the paint was chipped, the wallpaper was peeling off; lighting was poor and many light fixtures were broken; there was poor ventilation and scarce access to natural light; stairs were rickety, roofs leaked, and there were more people per dwelling.24 “These physical differences,” the report concluded, “obviously suggest wide differences in design, arrangement, and conditions, generally conductive to health—or lack thereof—in kitchenette apartments.”25
Marketing the Kitchenette When kitchenettes became popular in the early twentieth century, landlords marketed them as the latest invention of modern living, the next modern convenience, like the automobile or the refrigerator. They were projected as convenient, efficient apartments that would transform urban life and ease the housing crisis created by growing waves of immigration. Because kitchenettes were created prior to federal acts that stimulated the racially restricted housing market, landlords thought kitchenettes could provide urban dwellers with homes while increasing the landlords’ profit. They saw the housing crisis as an opportunity to generate wealth, and so they began subdividing their properties to fit in more people and charge more rent. Much of the early-twentieth-century kitchenette marketing was directed at European-immigrants and white women moving into cities in search of work.26 They were marketed as places that would alleviate the burden of housework for women.27 Though there were newspaper and magazine stories of “young businessmen” who used kitchenettes as an alternative to traveling in and out of the city or paying exorbitant rents for full apartments, the frequency of these narratives paled in comparison to the volumes written on women and kitchenettes.28 The kitchenette’s small size, supporters argued, would make it possible for women to work less in the home. According to one advertisement, “some women travel a hundred times a day across a kitchen to get spoons and saucers, when they might have everything better at hand” in the small space of a kitchenette.29 European-immigrant and white women entered the kitchenette amid a shifting social landscape. In the early twentieth century, women, for the first time, began to work outside the home in greater numbers than ever be-
7/2/15 2:45 PM
“our prison” · 37
fore, an opportunity enabled by changes in the growing industrial economy. For example, by 1900 women held 12 percent of all industrial wages.30 Like men, immigrant women also came to the United States chasing opportunities provided by the growth of industrial production and trying to escape declining political and economic stability in other parts of the world. They came as married partners, as single women, and along with family members. This was the first time many had lived in a city,31 and kitchenettes provided a multitude of them with shelter.32 For countless numbers of these women, the kitchenette was the first home in the new world, enabling them by the 1920s to afford to live and work in the city. The kitchenette’s advertisers realized that this shift in women’s lives meant that they—the advertisers—could not rely on the oppressive and clichéd nineteenth-century notions of domesticity and patriarchy that fixed women to the home. Instead, advertisers extoled the virtues of the kitchenette, highlighting how kitchenettes made domestic work much more efficient and less burdensome, facilitating a woman’s ability to keep house and work outside the home. For example, an editorial praised the kitchenette for its ability to relieve women (the wife and the maid) from the “shackles” of domestic labor. In a tone reminiscent of Karl Marx, the author argued, “Never was a kitchenette so touchingly utilitarian as now . . . it is the way out for the lady of the house, her domestic declaration of independence . . . with the kitchenette to aid her, she can enter into a freedom not dreamed of before, while her menfolk will in no wise suffer.”33 What is striking about this passage is the complete contradictory logic that underwrites it. The editorial suggests that the small space of the kitchenette is a tool for liberation because it diminishes the time spent preparing meals and cleaning. And the convenience of it all: “On your right is the refrigerator, on your left the sink, just above are pots and pans, while open drawer and, lo, you have your forks and spoons and other like table utilities: all without actually moving.”34 While it is true that the smaller space of the kitchenette made housework much less burdensome for whoever lived in it, it was only billed as beneficial for women, which reinscribed their domesticity. Cleaning and cooking in the kitchenette was also touted as a means of female liberation. The Kitchenette Cookbook, for example, which was made for the “modern woman,” instructed women on strategies for cooking meals in a small cooking space, while offering tips on how to entertain guests and even serve large meals.35 Inadvertently, the Kitchenette Cookbook did more than teach cooking techniques; it also helped to change urban cooking by radically altering the size of food portions sold in stores. Prior to kitchenettes,
7/2/15 2:45 PM
38 . chap ter 2 most recipes were written for greater portions. Most conventional ovens were built to accommodate large roasts, turkeys, and chickens, enough food to feed an entire family; kitchenette cooking had to be dramatically scaled down because the kitchenette kitchen was so small and so had smaller appliances. New ways of preparing food evolved with the kitchenette: canned foods—easy-to-store and even easier-to-prepare products, which did not require refrigeration, became kitchenette staples, and no home was without them. The greatest consequence of kitchenette cooking was the creation of new ways to prepare meat. Unlike the ovens of larger homes, the tiny kitchenette oven could not accommodate an entire roast, chicken, or turkey, so butchers created new cuts of meat especially for the kitchenette. The “kitchenette steak” or the “minute steak,” which was a steak chop or cube steak, was small enough to fit in the oven, and the “half shad” (half fish) were widely requested and consumed by kitchenette residents.36 Almost in spite of the kitchenettes’ efficiency and convenience, the public began to wonder if these urban dwellings cloaked larger problems. By the 1920s newspapers in Chicago and New York ran stories and commentaries that raised questions about the social cost of kitchenette convenience. Criticism of the kitchenette became even more widespread after World War I, as it increasingly highlighted the “freedom” kitchenettes provided women and the subsequent effects on the stability of the family. For instance, at the eleventh annual meeting of the Playground and Recreation Association of America, held in Atlantic City, New Jersey, in October 1924, Marie G. Merrill from Chicago argued, “The kitchenette is destroying family life and interests.”37 Merrill decried the kitchenettes’ lack of space necessary to house an entire family. “Nowadays” she said, “a large percentage of our children live in a place which has not much space between its four walls.”38 This small space made it possible, Merrill pointed out, for women to be derelict in their duties. Rather than cook an elaborate meal for her family, for example, the modern kitchenette woman was “too busy,” Merrill lamented, even to “make candy and popcorn” for her children like women were able to do in “old fashion[ed] homes,” implying that the convenience of the kitchenette made it too easy for women to do things besides raise her children. To resist the family-destroying impulses of the kitchenette, Merrill maintained that the large home is essential. She used her bully pulpit to suggest not only that kitchenettes were destroying the family but also that residents were simply outgrowing such dwellings.39 Merrill’s arguments illustrated that kitchenettes were not all sweetness and light; they were more than simply a modern convenience. Her critique, while
7/2/15 2:45 PM
“our prison” · 39
mired in shortsighted patriarchy, nevertheless demonstrated that kitchenettes and the universal forward march toward convenience and efficiency they represented had a downside.
Blacks in the Kitchenette For Black Chicagoans kitchenettes were not represented as modern, convenient, or liberatory. Experientially, kitchenettes were forms of containment. Black migrants moved into kitchenettes for three reasons: they were restricted with regard to where they could live; kitchenettes were the only affordable housing option; and kitchenettes were heavily marketed toward Blacks. The classified sections of the Chicago Defender, one of the nation’s largest Black newspapers at the time, and the Chicago Tribune, the city’s largest newspaper, ran ads advertising kitchenette housing. The Defender was a vital news source for Black migrants coming to Chicago. They looked to the newspaper to tell them about Black life in the city, to give a lay of the land, and to find out about housing options. These factors made it possible for kitchenettes to expand rapidly during the interwar years. Unlike the representation of the kitchenette as modern and convenient, for Black migrants the kitchenette was a return to antiquated forms of housing that in many cases was no better than the conditions they experienced in the South during and after slavery. The kitchenette was a form of punishment for moving North, what Wright called the “royal road to a slum community.”40 Black life in the kitchenette was hard. They were filthy, decrepit, diseased, packed full, overpriced, and full of tension that sometimes erupted in male violence. Black Chicagoans used the Black press to express their opposition to the kitchenette as well. While the classified section of the Chicago Defender was filled with kitchenette listings, the front pages ran stories on the struggles of Blacks who lived in the kitchenette. From 1912 to 1956, the Defender published several articles about the profound dangers that kitchenette housing posed to migrants. The paper argued that kitchenettes ruined Black life, confining people in tiny, decrepit places not fit for living. From the 1930s onward the paper published articles that were not only critical of the kitchenette but also of the entire housing situation in the city. For instance, in 1936,the paper published an article about a conference to address housing in the Black Belt, which asserted that “improvised kitchenettes” were used to house Blacks, despite the severe overcrowding.41 In 1949 the paper ran a three-part series about Black life in the city that focused on the social and economic realities
7/2/15 2:45 PM
40 . chap ter 2 of the city’s newest migrants: housing was the focus of the third article in the series. In it, Carl Wigeman, a community activist, argued that housing was an acute problem for South Side Blacks, resulting in many of them living in kitchenettes, which he characterized as being “as bad as the rural shanties and urban slums they left in the South.”42 The racial economic structure that underwrote white kitchenette realities was unevenly distributed, leaving many Blacks on the margins of the labor force. Unlike their white working-class counterparts and also different from white immigrants, Black migrants’ experience with the kitchenettes emerged out of the political, social, and economic shifts brought on by migration.43 The unprecedented mass movement of Blacks to Chicago strained the city’s housing stock. However, this strain was not simply the result of Black movement to the city but was rather the consequence of the inability of Blacks to move beyond the Black Belt. Black people moved into Chicago in droves. Between 1910 and 1920, 50,000 Black people moved to Chicago, pushing the Black population to 3.8 percent.44 By 1920, 85 percent of the city’s 110,000 Blacks lived in the Black Belt.45 By 1930, the city’s Black population nearly doubled, to 6.2 percent.46 Spatially, the Black Belt was roughly a seven-mile-long by one-mile-wide strip of land. Cramming more than 240,000 people into this space meant that the quality of the housing stock plummeted. To make more room in the Black Belt, the apartments and mansions alike were converted into kitchenettes to facilitate the growing residential population. For example, during the 1940s more than 80,000 of these conversions took place in the Black Belt.47 This led to a 52 percent rise in dwellings that lacked private bathrooms in the Black Belt.48 Segregation choked off much of the city for Black people, forcing them to live in the tiny confines of the Black Belt. In this way, segregation unleashed the tyranny of the kitchenette; it was the socioeconomic and sociospatial context that brought it into existence. Restrictive covenants—legally binding contracts entered into between white homeowners and landlords that barred the sale or lease of property to Blacks—shaped the dynamics of kitchenette housing for Blacks. Restrictive covenants made housing outside the confines of the Black Belt illegal and inaccessible, using contract law and deed restriction to keep Blacks out of certain Chicago neighborhoods and concentrating them in one place in the city.49 Chicago’s urban geography was more saturated with restrictive covenants than any other Northern city.50 By 1930 three-quarters of all property in the city was governed by covenants,51 and some estimates argue that nearly 80 percent of the housing stock in Chicago was at one point governed by
7/2/15 2:45 PM
“our prison” · 41
covenants.52 It is important to note that restrictive covenants were focused exclusively on regulating Black housing options. They did not bind European immigrants to any one place in the way they tied Blacks to the Black Belt.53 By confining Blacks to certain spaces, restrictive convents radically shaped the city’s racial and sexual geographies. As demonstrated in the chapter 1, fears over Black/white interracial socializing, sex, and marriage had a significant influence on tightening the restrictions that enforced de facto segregation. Once the vice district was pushed into the Black Belt, housing restrictions circumscribed Black mobility, making way for de jure segregation. Restrictive covenants were the tactical and sociospatial tool that carved up the city’s geography along racial lines, fostering deep and profound unequal distribution of resources based on color. Covenants not only enabled Black/ white physical separation by ensuring that neither racial group occupied the same social space, such measures also created inescapable invisible fences that made it impossible for Blacks to move. This invisible fence even ensnared middle-class Blacks who had the means to move out of the Black Belt, all but eliminating the possibility of Black mobility. Whites were complicit in the system of restrictive covenants, too. They benefited by gaining unfair advantages to better housing through their complicity with segregation.54 Because the city refused to create enough housing to accommodate the growing numbers of migrants and because the city was involved in the system of racial segregation, kitchenettes became the answer to housing large numbers of Blacks in one area. Under Black migration kitchenettes were not a symbol of modern society as they had been for white workers and European-immigrant and white women at the turn of the century. They became a profit-generating mechanism and quick fix toward accelerating Black inmigration. Blacks moved in and out of them looking for the cheapest rent, and landlords tried to meet the growing demand by converting more homes and apartments into kitchenettes. However, demolition of numerous houses on the South Side further depleted the housing stock, making it even more difficult for Blacks to find adequate housing. Against the backdrop of the Depression and the violence used against Blacks who attempted to move beyond the Black Belt, kitchenettes were widely used among Black Chicagoans,55 regardless of the fact that kitchenettes were a holding space fostered equally by segregation and restrictive covenants, which turned swaths of the Black Belt into hyperconfined living zones. According to Drake and Cayton, restrictions on housing forced Blacks to live in dangerously overcrowded areas. By the late 1930s, Blacks were living ninety thousand people per square mile compared with whites, who lived twenty thousand per square mile.56
7/2/15 2:45 PM
42 . chap ter 2 Kitchenettes affected residents in both immediate and long-term ways. For example, fire was a constant threat. The congestion of a small kitchenette unit, which had a hot plate and faulty wiring, made it a tinderbox. Numerous kitchenettes caught fire, which killed and injured several residents. In 1947, for example, a fire that started in one kitchenette spread rapidly throughout the building, and when the flames were finally put out, four children and six adults were dead.57 Two years later, headlines read, “5 Die in Flaming Fire Trap.” The Chicago Defender newspaper reported, “Overcrowded Chicago kitchenettes exacted a high toll in lives and misery last week.”58 In both fires, crowded living conditions and insufficient exits were labeled as culprits. Faulty wiring also played a role. In some cases, fires were started by overburdened electrical systems caused by too many people using too few outlets. These fires were often a direct result of landlord neglect. Because most landlords jammed as many people into kitchenettes as possible to extract the highest amount of money per square foot, they put the lives of residents at risk.
Wright and the Kitchenette Literary scholar Houston Baker argues that the “dynamics of place” are a primary feature in the literature of Richard Wright. From the bowels of the slave ship to the plantation to the kitchenette, Wright maps the “interlocking institutional arrangements” that spatialized blackness.59 Kitchenettes were central to his racial geography of the city because they coalesced the legal and discursive practices that underwrote segregation. Wright’s literary works illuminate the sociospatial inequality kitchenettes produced. In his early work, Wright wrote about the role kitchenettes played in structuring anti-Black racism. He wrote about the kitchenette because he lived in one. Wright was part of the first wave of Blacks who moved to Chicago from the South. Like most, his family hoped to escape the terrorism of Jim Crow racism in the South (a point he wrote about in the essay “Big Boy Leaves Home”) to work in Chicago’s burgeoning industrial sector. Wright’s move North had a profound influence on the development of his literary voice as well. Moving away from the oppressiveness of Southern white supremacy, coupled with the political and artistic circles he would discover in Chicago and then later in New York, Wright garnered the mental and creative room to write. Wright’s early works of fiction (Uncle Tom’s Children and Native Son) and nonfiction (Black Boy, 12 Million Black Voices) were grounded in the lived experience of Black migrants. He tackled issues such as lynchings, economic inequality, and race and sex. His writings on the North are of
7/2/15 2:45 PM
“our prison” · 43
particular interest because they are not only provocative and penetrating stories of Northern racism, they are also insightful analyses of Black people’s confrontation with the urban landscape.
The Geography Bigger of Thomas Wright moved to Chicago in 1927. He moved to the Black Belt and lived in the same building as his aunt Sissy. She, like many other Blacks, lived in a cramped, dirty kitchenette. Wright was shocked and horrified by the conditions Blacks were forced to live in. “We live in crowded, barn-like rooms, in old rotting building where once dwelt rich native whites of a century ago,” he described.60 It was these conditions that gave him the material to write his first novel. Three years after moving to New York in 1937, Wright published Native Son, which the New York Times called a “stirring novel of crime and punishment.”61 Native Son explores Chicago’s engagement in carceral order in the years between World War I and World War II, and in doing that it previses the arguments of this book and examines the consequence of Black prisonization within urban geography. Wright’s focus is Black male–white female interracial sex and desire; the impact carceral space and power have on Black people’s health; and the consequences of constructing and performing Black masculinity in prisonized landscapes. Wright describes the psychic and gender consequences of Black containment on Chicago’s South Side by highlighting the kitchenette’s role as a sociospatial tool; it is the dominant literary device he uses in shaping the identity of the novels’ protagonist. Native Son tells the story of protagonist Bigger Thomas, a Black teen on Chicago’s South Side. Bigger was the eldest son of three children. The untimely death of his father pushed Bigger into the position of wage earner, a responsibility he resented. The Thomas family suffered from the father’s death: without his income, they were forced to move into a kitchenette in one of the poorest sections of Black Chicago. At the urging of his mother, Bigger accepted a position as chauffeur for a wealthy white family—the Daltons—who controlled much of the Black rental market on the South Side. On Bigger’s first day on the job he was assigned to take Mary, the Daltons’ daughter, to a lecture at the University of Chicago. The lecture was a smokescreen. Instead, Mary instructed Bigger to pick up her boyfriend Jan and drive them around the Black Belt. Both Mary and Jan were communists who opposed the system of racial segregation. Jan tried to demonstrate his belief in racial equality by offering to drive rather than being chauffeured.
7/2/15 2:45 PM
44 . chap ter 2 After Jan took the wheel from Bigger, Mary jumped into the front passenger seat, sandwiching Bigger between them. “Never in his life had he been so close to a white woman,” Wright narrates.62 Bigger knew his close proximity to a white woman was a breach of racial gender etiquette. He knew that physical contact with a white woman (especially outside the established underground zones) could have grave consequences. Mary’s politics and naïveté placed Bigger in an intractable position that he could not resist if he cared for his job, so he sat “cramped into a small space” between them, doing his best not to move.63 But Bigger knew a line had been crossed, arguing later, “They kill us for women like her.”64 After obliging the request by Mary and Jan to eat at a Black restaurant, Mary, who by the end of the night had had too much to drink, was taken home after Jan was dropped at his place to prepare for his trip to Detroit. Mary’s inebriation made it difficult for her to get to her room without waking up her parents. Bigger feared the consequences of being caught with Mary drunk. Reluctantly, he set aside his fear and escorted her to her bedroom. Mary’s blind mother heard the rustling and mumbling in the room and went to check on her. To keep Mary quiet, Bigger placed a pillow over her head and suffocated her. To hide his crime, Bigger dismembered Mary and stuffed her body in the furnace. After Mary’s bones were discovered, Bigger fled. Despite trying to avoid any claim of sexual impropriety, authorities investigating her murder contended that Bigger’s killing was a “sex crime.”65 A massive manhunt ensued, which effectively marked most Black men in the Black Belt as suspects. When Bigger told his girlfriend Bessie about Mary, he killed her as well. He killed Bessie to “keep her from talking.” But Bigger also felt different about his life and others after killing Mary. By killing a white woman, Bigger had essentially ended his own life, and the feelings of emptiness and sense of having nothing to lose sent him spiraling further into chaos and made him dangerous. “After killing that white woman,” he said, “I didn’t have to think much about killing Bessie. I knew I had to kill her and I did. I had to get away. . . .”66 After he was captured, a liberal white lawyer tried to save Bigger’s life, arguing that racism, poverty, and segregation had led Bigger to murder, not cold-hearted malice or lust. Despite passionate pleas on his behalf, Bigger was sentenced to death. Bigger killed Mary because he feared being caught in the room of a drunken white woman. He understood the racial and sexual lines of demarcation that shaped the geography of Chicago. And he knew that being caught in Mary’s room late at night as she lay passed out would mean not only the loss of employment but also that he might also lose his life. Yet Bigger also lived
7/2/15 2:45 PM
“our prison” · 45
in fear, and he was angry about the system of apartheid he lived under. So when he killed Mary, he did not feel remorse for her death. He hated her. Not because of something she did but because, in spite of her liberal views on race, she was part of the system of white supremacy that caused pain and suffering for people like Bigger. And he hid his crime because he feared the consequences—consequences he knew, long before he met Mary, would be his demise. “They [white people] kill you before you die,” he told his lawyer.67 Wright depicted Bigger as a man swimming in fear and hatred that stemmed broadly from the system of white supremacy he lived under. And that system of white supremacy was for Bigger articulated spatially. He argued, “They [whites] draw a line and say for you to stay on your side of the line. They don’t care if there’s no bread over on your side. They don’t care if you die.” And when you transgress that line, as Bigger did with Mary, “they kill you.”68 The line Bigger was referring to was the color line that manifests in de facto and de jure segregation. Wright made segregation visible through the closed, cramped space of the kitchenette, used it to show the location and scale on which segregation functioned. Bigger knew the color line not only because he could see its articulation in the racial geography of the city but also because he felt its affect every day at home.
Space, Place, and Identity Formation As demonstrated in the epigraph of this chapter, Wright thought space and place were important to identity formation. While not determining one’s identity, space and place do create “the instrumentalities through which the organisms expresses itself,” and if the environment is “warped or tranquil the mode and manner of behavior will be affected.”69 Black American literature, argues Melvin Dixon, is filled with “speech acts” that link geography and identity.70 This was particularly the case with the writings of Richard Wright, which examine the sociospatial conditions of Black life and their effect on identity formation. Space is one of the most important and significant illustrators of uneven development, access, and social order.71 Its organization and how people are situated within it reflects social hierarchies. Geography makes social and political inequalities visible by situating them within physical space.72 It is not a coincidence that poor people, people of color, immigrants, the sick, the disabled, prisoners, women, sexual minorities, and other marginalized groups live in bracketed geographies.73 The scope of their political power often mirrors their spatial marginalization.
7/2/15 2:45 PM
46 . chap ter 2 Space also plays a role in the production of identities. Physical space and where one is located within it tell us much about the “space of the subject.”74 Who we are as subjects—the kind of people we are—is greatly influenced by our geographies. Language, personal habits, the kinds of foods we eat, the diseases we may become susceptible to, our sexual practices, our understanding of family, and our cultural conventions are products of the spaces we live in. Space is fundamental to identity, and we depend on it to help construct meaning, to explain the world around us, and to highlight what is particular about us.75 Decades before human geographers linked space, place, and identity, Wright argued that space was instrumental to enforcing social order and a central aspect of identity construction. Wright’s spatial analysis not only illuminated the horrible housing conditions within Black Chicago but also demonstrated the role they played in the construction of identity. The cramped confines of Bigger’s home figured significantly in the kind of person he became. The constant reminder of the social conditions expressed by his containment within the Black Belt and within the microspace of the kitchenette angered Bigger. Wright argued that kitchenettes “warped” and “blighted” the personalities of residents, making them antisocial and at times violent.76 He demonstrated the consequences of this order in Native Son. Early in the novel, for example, in the aftermath of a verbal altercation between Bigger and his mother, she ponders “Boy, sometimes I wonder what makes you act like you do.”77 Wright answers for his protagonist: it is geography. Lines of demarcation, boxes, and cages are the spatial and literary tropes he used to construct Bigger. Wright saw kitchenettes as the sociospatial form that illuminated antiBlack racism; he used that form to shed light on how, for the Thomases, environment informed the tensions that ran throughout their family, most especially the discord between Bigger and his mother, Mrs. Thomas. The kitchenette itself frames the reader’s introduction to the characters. Wright depicts the four family members in Native Son waking up on a cold Chicago morning from the buzz of an alarm clock. Because all four live in one room, the buzz wakes everyone. Wright uses the opening pages not only to introduce readers to the characters but also, as Dixon argues, to unfold the link between identity and place. Indeed, four people in one room, within the broader segregated and policed geography of the Black Belt, made the kitchenette “just like living in jail.” 78 It was a daily reminder, an indicator, a spatial articulation of Bigger’s position and “place” in the world. The kitchenette had a profound effect on Bigger, but it did not make him violent. Bigger Thomas’s violence was, according to Wright, the result of longstanding
7/2/15 2:45 PM
“our prison” · 47
white supremacy and the structures and violence that accompanied it. The character of Bigger Thomas was an amalgamation of many men (the bully, the “bad nigger,” and the boy who defied Jim Crow) who lived under Jim Crow.79 Though Bigger was constituted under Southern racism, Wright saw the urban environment, nevertheless, as instrumental in the production of Bigger’s personality as that environment played a role in the construction of identity.80 His analysis of the link between identity and place was nuanced. He saw place not as the central element in the construction of identity but nevertheless as a key part. Kitchenettes “supplied the instrumentalities through which” Bigger came to “express himself.”81 In other words, kitchenettes were the spatial context that helped to inform Bigger’s identity. Wright made sure readers understood the importance of identity and place by painting a vivid picture of how kitchenettes affected Blacks in Chicago. For Wright, the kitchenette was a space of punishment, in which containment was the order of the day; it was a place where Black life was, as he put it, warped.82 Spatially, kitchenettes were interstitial to the production of Black identity because they were the place where identity was formed. The spatial politics that informed his portrayal of the Thomas family’s home (as a cramped and rat-infested box) and that affected of much of Black Chicago was a persistent motif in Book One of the novel. Bigger’s frustration with not being able to move beyond the “line” that separated the Black Belt and white communities or to walk “over across the line,” where whites lived, and to “fly” beyond the borders of the Black Belt all informed his despair and anger.83 The lines of demarcation and circumscribed mobility were particularly difficult to swallow in Chicago as a space unto itself. Wright described Chicago as a city with a “taunting sense of possible achievement” negated by the reality of racial segregation. This contradiction between freedom and containment set off something poisonous within Bigger. And the kitchenette, the most immediate form of oppression he was subject to, became the signifier of this taunting sense of possibility. Being forced to live in a confined, oneroom space in a modern city “filled with a sense of power” that boasted of its liberalism and openness and projected itself as the opposite of Jim Crow racism made the pain of the kitchenette even worse. The physical proximity to possibility amid restrictions on mobility “brought forth from Bigger a reaction more obstreperous than in the South,” argued Wright.84 More than an empty signifier where Black pain was housed, space and place in Native Son was as an active mechanism in the production of Black subjugation and construction of identity.
7/2/15 2:45 PM
48 . chap ter 2
Disease in the Kitchenette Wright wrote about the kitchenette in two of his major works: 12 Million Black Voices and Native Son. I see these as one project spread out over two works. In 12 Million Black Voices Wright used photographs and his own experience to conduct a kind of sociological study of the kitchenette. In Native Son he used the ideas from 12 Million Black Voices to demonstrate that Bigger was in part shaped by the dehumanizing conditions of the kitchenette. Though not chronological (Native Son was published a few months before 12 Million Black Voices), it is evident that Wright partly drew upon his lived experience in the kitchenette as the basis for the story of Bigger Thomas. Because Wright understood that space played a formidable role in the production of Black identity, he used the kitchenette in both his fiction and sociological writings to bring attention to its effect on Black life. For Wright, the kitchenette was the symbolic and physical illustration of Black people’s marginalization and the punishment they were subject to. Wright demonstrated this not only in his writing about Bigger but in his writing about disease as well. Kitchenettes facilitated the transmission of diseases. Spatial restrictions on Black mobility coupled with tight living quarters inscribed Blacks’ landscapes and their bodies with disease. As the Black Belt swelled during the 1940s to nearly three hundred thousand, the concentration of people in its confines and the ensuing tensions that resulted in violence, along with growing rates of disease, propelled death rates upward.85 Compared to all racial and ethnic neighborhoods in Chicago, the Black community’s rates of mental illness, infant deaths, and deaths from disease were highest.86 Homicide rates were also high. By 1925 the death rate for Blacks in the city was double that of whites.87 During the 1930s, six Blacks died of violent assaults for every white person killed.88 In the Black Belt, which Wright described as the “corner of the city tumbling down from rot,” premature death was common.89 Restrictive spaces have always seriously affected the health of their inhabitants. Prisoners in particular have suffered disproportionally in this regard, as the places that contain them have often been disease hotbeds.90 This was also the case for Black residents living in kitchenettes. Wright was hyperaware of the myriad effects and proliferation of disease in these unsanitary, closed, and/or restrictive spaces. Indeed, the filth within kitchenettes was structurally produced. Landowners’ severe neglect of the plumbing produced systematic and widespread contamination, allowing disease to grow and fester within the kitchenettes’ enclosed spaces. As a result, airborne and waterborne diseases spread ram-
7/2/15 2:45 PM
“our prison” · 49
pantly among the residents. Insufficient resources brought on by segregation and inadequate facilities to service the large number of people living in kitchenettes exacerbated the spread of disease. “With one toilet for thirty or more tenants,” argued Wright, the kitchenette “kills our black babies so fast that in many cities twice as many of them die as white babies. . . . [T]he kitchenette is the seed bed for scarlet fever, dysentery, typhoid, tuberculosis, gonorrhea, syphilis, pneumonia and malnutrition.”91 Wright’s analysis was not hyperbole. Between 1939 and 1941, deaths from tuberculosis in Black communities were five times the rate for whites. During the 1940s Chicago had the highest number of deaths from tuberculosis among Blacks in the country.92
Kitchenettes and the Exercise of Carceral Power Foucault famously wrote, “Space is fundamental to any exercise of power.”93 His recognition that power cannot give rise to domination without geographic control was a vital contribution to how geographers think about space, place, and control.94 His most famous engagement with space and power was in Discipline and Punish. He wrote, “Discipline sometimes requires enclosure, the specification of a place heterogeneous to all others and closed in upon itself.”95 As stated, the kitchenette was a racist form of housing that Black people were subject to. Whereas, as Foucault argued, the spatialization of the kitchenette was an exercise of power, it is important to acknowledge that this exercise of power was racialized. Therefore, while Foucault’s analysis provides a conceptual framework for understanding the relationship between space and power, his analysis has to be rethought within a critical race framework in the context of Blacks in Chicago’s kitchenettes. The kitchenette was a space of enclosure that extended the racist geographic practices of policing (addressed in chapter 1). The kitchenette version of carceral power, however, was more intimate. Rather than operating on a larger scale, as police power did, carceral power in the kitchenette was scaled down, bringing it into the domestic lives of Black Chicagoans. Under this new regime, Blacks did not have to encounter the police to experience the power of prison; instead, prison power was part of their housing. This kind of intimacy with carceral power had negative consequences, not the least of which was its racialization. Wright asserted, “[B]ecause we have been used to sleeping several in a room on the plantations in the South, we rent these kitchenettes and are glad to get them. These kitchenettes are our havens from the plantations in the South.”96 Wright’s linking of the disciplinary power of Southern plantations
7/2/15 2:45 PM
50 . chap ter 2 and the kitchenette starkly illuminates the extension of racist geographic practices that underwrote Black people’s experience in the city during the interwar years.97 In short, Wright’s analysis teased out the racialized nature of carceral power that was exercised in the Black Belt during the early part of the twentieth century. In Native Son Wright goes further to demonstrate the insidious ways that the exercise of carceral power affected Black migrants than he did in 12 Million Black Voices. Early in the novel he illustrates how the specter of prison haunts the Thomas family: Light flooded the room and revealed a black boy standing in a narrow space between two iron beds, rubbing his eyes with the backs of his hands. From a bed to his right the woman spoke again: “Buddy, get up from there! I got big washing on my hands today and I want you-all out of here.” Another black boy rolled from bed and stood up. The woman also rose and stood in her nightgown. “Turn your heads so I can dress,” she said. The two boys averted their eyes and gazed into a far corner of the room. The woman rushed out of her nightgown and put on a pair of step-ins. She turned to the bed from which she had risen and called: “Vera! Get up from there!” [ . . . ] A brown-skinned girl in a cotton gown got up and stretched her arms above her head and yawned. Sleepily, she sat on a chair and fumbled with her stockings. The two boys kept their faces averted while their mother and sister put on enough clothes to keep them from feeling ashamed; and the mother and sister did the same while the boys dressed. Abruptly, they all paused, holding their clothes in their hands, their attention caught by a light tapping in the thinly plastered wall of the room. They forgot their conspiracy against shame and their eyes strayed apprehensively over the floor.98
For the Thomas family, simply getting dressed takes place under the gaze of someone else. If protection from the gaze of others is a central function of autonomy,99 kitchenettes negated that autonomy by maximizing physical intimacy and making intimate, mundane information—“I need to get dressed,” “I’ve got to wash,” and so forth—public. By creating close associations between people the kitchenette made privacy of any kind impossible, shaming its residents by putting all actions under the forced gaze of others in the room. In the same way that expanding policing into the Black Belt to stamp out vice placed all Blacks under the watchful eye of the state, kitchenettes brought surveillance into the domestic space, making it inescapable.100
7/2/15 2:45 PM
“our prison” · 51
Wright saw race as central to the expression of carceral power in Black Chicago. Black people were imprisoned within kitchenettes because they were Black. This contrasts with Foucault’s reading of the carceral. Foucault saw carceral power as the outgrowth of the expansion of the disciplinary power contained within a vast array of institutions, namely schools, hospitals, and factories. He saw prisons as the final consequence of the expansion of disciplinary power during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. They did not grow, Foucault argued, out of the ancient prisons of feudal society but rather out of modern institutions. Originally meant as a means to reform the torture administrated by the brutal power of the monarchy, prisons utilized the disciplinary power of instruction that places like schools, hospitals, and factories provided to correct people. Foucault’s analysis of carceral power is fruitful; however, owing to the fact that carceral power in Chicago was racialized, Foucault’s analysis must be “slightly stretched” in order to remain relevant.101 While he addressed the realities of race in other aspects of his work, his discussion of carceral power does not include a consideration of how race informs its use.102 Wright, however, offers a corrective by acknowledging the unique place of race in the expression of carceral power. Wright’s understanding of its racialization is largely a product of his lived experience. For him, the link between blackness and confinement was unambiguously racialized. In the early twentieth century, carceral power was deployed as a way to manage Black geographies, to shut down the interzones and to ensure that the color line remained intact. Wright realized that it was not an arbitrary expression of modern power that society as a whole was forced to confront; if it had been, carceral power would have been articulated throughout the city, would have been found in multiple institutions, and all communities would have been subject to it. But this was not the case, at least not in Chicago. There, carceral power was unevenly distributed within the Black Belt. As demonstrated earlier in the chapter, when whites lived in kitchenettes, such spaces were characterized as modern and liberating: whites’ communities were not spaces where carceral power functioned. However, once Black people moved into them, they became prisons.
Gender and Escape in the Kitchenette Wright’s analysis highlights the way gender informed residents’ responses to kitchenette living. He saw that for some men, running away was the most practical and available means of opposition. According to Wright, “the kitchenette fills our black boys with longing and restlessness, urging them to run
7/2/15 2:45 PM
52 . chap ter 2 off from home.”103 Wright’s assessment of men’s flight from the kitchenette was not simply an articulation of carceral power; it was also a reflection of patriarchy. Masculinity scholar Michael Kimmel contends that the rejection of domestic space by escaping was a central tenant of modern masculinity. “Since the early 19th century,” he writes, “the quest for manhood has revolved around a flight from women.”104 As I have demonstrated, history shows that the mobility of Black men (and Black people in general) was sharply restricted. Rather than being on the move, Black men have been locked in a struggle with white society for the right to move. Migrating to the city gave Black men (and Black women) that ability to move around absent the kinds of regulations that defined slavery and Jim Crow laws in the South—only to make them subject to a whole new set of restrictions in the North. Wright saw these changes occurring for urban Blacks, but they existed against the backdrop of a unique articulation of the need to flee the restriction and containment of the kitchenette. Wright termed this the “obstreperous” reaction to Northern segregation. Because the kitchenette was a claustrophobic, carceral space that restricted mobility, escape was a rational and pragmatic response. Men fled because they were free people being treated like prisoners. Men’s flight from the kitchenette did not create freedom, however. Black people were contained within the Black Belt and barred from housing outside its limits. The racial geography of the city limited their ability to escape carceral power and the spatial forms it engendered. Therefore, when men ran away they did not go far; they simply moved around the Black Belt. Obviously, this did not create freedom; it just moved men out of the immediate space of the kitchenette, making many of them footloose wanderers in the process. Again, the historical and ideological linking of men with mobility and women with the domestic space shaped this experience, a point Black feminists who have written on Black women’s experience during migration have noted.105 Therefore, we should see Black men’s flight from kitchenettes as a response to containment and as an attempt to escape domestic space, to flee women, and to play out the historical and ideological linking of masculinity with mobility. The void created from Black men’s flight fell hardest on Black women. Men’s flight from the kitchenette helped create “thousands of one-room homes where our black mothers sit . . . with their children about their knees.”106 Wives, girlfriends, mothers, and sisters were solely responsible for picking up the financial and emotional slack at home. For example, in Maud Martha, Gwendolyn Brooks wrote about the effect that men’s flight from the kitchenette had on Black women. The novel focused on a kitchenette family
7/2/15 2:45 PM
“our prison” · 53
in “Gappington Arms,” an apartment complex on Chicago’s South Side. In the chapter “Kitchenette Folks,” a young boy named Clement was forced to spend time alone because his mother’s work as a domestic for another family meant that she could not spend much time with him. Clement’s father left home one day and never returned, leaving his mother to raise Clement alone.107 Lorraine Hansberry’s play A Raisin in the Sun, which told the story of a Black family on Chicago’s South Side in the years after World War II, is another example of Black women’s confrontation with the kitchenette. The play was centered on the Younger family living in their two-room kitchenette. Like the Thomas family, the Youngers experience many of the frustrations of living in a crowded dwelling, such as the friction and tension that emerged from too many people living in too little space. In the play, Mama and Ruth bear the responsibility of holding the Younger family together as tension threatens to tear them apart. Mama, the matriarch of the family, was charged with the task of finding a way to keep her son Walter Lee from destroying himself and the family around him as he obsesses over a small fortune from a life insurance policy left by his late father, Walter Sr. Walter Lee saw the money as partly his and wanted to use it to invest in a liquor store with a friend. Though poverty and the general smog of Northern racism colored the reality of the Younger family, everything is exacerbated by the daily stress of having to accommodate “too many people for too many years.”108 Their tight confines were a constant reminder of segregation, the lines of racial demarcation and techniques of containment that kept them enclosed. For Black women this did not mean flight. For them the confinement of the kitchenette meant finding ways to create a productive life, family, and community in the midst of struggle. Black women did what Black men would not do, which was to organize the family in an effort to get everyone out of the kitchenette. Mama did this by taking part of the insurance money and purchasing a home for the family in a white neighborhood. Moving them away from the techniques of segregation that hemmed in residents of the Black Belt relieved the family of environmental tension, making it possible for them to experience love and togetherness absent containment.
Conclusion—Making Masculinity in the Kitchenette In “Who Set You Flowin’?”: The African-American Migration Narrative, Farah Jasmine Griffin writes of the various ways Black migrants’ interactions with urban space transformed Black life. Music, housing, education, notions of
7/2/15 2:45 PM
54 . chap ter 2 freedom, work, and gender were all radically reshaped by urban spatial order from the 1920s into the 1940s.109 Masculinity underwent dramatic shifts, too. The geography of the kitchenette did much to influence the performance of masculinity that emerged within it.110 Black men who were confronted with the confinement of the kitchenette responded to it with flight, anger, or hostility. The anger and hostility Wright described had significant consequences for residents in the kitchenette. “The kitchenette, with its crowded rooms and incessant bedlam,” Wright remarked, “provides an enticing place for crimes of all sort—crimes against women and children or any stranger who happens to stray into its dark hallways.”111 For much of the twentieth century, crime in Black Chicago was most intense in confined places like the Black Belt. And as more people moved into the restrictive geography of the Black Belt, things got worse. Crime in the kitchenette was a direct consequence of carceral power. The “acute problems of living space” that came to define the Black Belt were brought on by the systemic segregation, containment, and policing of Black people.112 The kitchenette transformed the performance of Black masculinity. It encouraged tension and violence, encouraged some men to run away, and created a context where some men exploited women, children, and other men. Indeed, the kitchenette played a role in shaping Black masculinity, but it would not be the last. In the coming years, another form of Black housing—housing projects—would provide the instrumentalities through which Black masculinity expressed itself. In 1941 the commissioner and vice president of the Chicago Housing Authority Robert Taylor became a consultant to the Division of Defense Housing Co-ordination. One of the nation’s first advocates of public housing, Taylor lobbied for funds to expand public housing in Chicago.113 By the 1950s his efforts paid off. In 1949 and again in 1954 the federal government embarked on a massive public-housing campaign to resolve the issue of Black housing.114 By the mid-1970s tens of thousands of new units were built to meet their needs. These new housing projects were a dream for poor Blacks. It seemed as if the city, the country, had heard their cries for justice and adequate housing. But building the projects did not exorcise the ghosts of carceral power, not even the ones named after the man that that was their biggest advocate. Lurking under the newly built structures was carceral power, repackaged and fossilized into the architecture, location, and planning of kitchenettes’ replacement.
7/2/15 2:45 PM
3 Carceral Interstice Between Home Space and Prison Space One thing I noticed when I first came to the penitentiary is that the penitentiary design is similar to the high-rise projects. . . . In prisons it’s the tiers; in the projects it’s different floors. You have this limited space between a fence and where you live, and the room that you live in is also kind of confined—you know, big enough for maybe a couple of people. In prison, the cell is not really big enough for one person, but they put two in there. Same thing with the projects—they’re not big enough for entire families, but they put entire families in there. —John R. Woodland, The New Abolitionists Blackmen born in the U.S. and fortunate enough to live past the age of eighteen are conditioned to accept the inevitability of prison. . . . I was prepared for prison. It required only minor psychic adjustments. —George Jackson, Soledad Brother
Failed Promises In the years following World War II, the federal government made a promise to Black residents in cities like Chicago. That promise was better housing. For Blacks living in kitchenettes for nearly four decades, the federal government used legislation to change the politics of race and housing in America’s cities. The result of that promise was the creation of large-scale public housing. Chicago built massive housing projects on the South Side and West Side. They were cleaner and roomier than the cramped kitchenettes of the interwar years; they were also modern and affordable. Inspired by Western European planners, Chicago’s political establishment built tens of thousands of units between 1950 and 1970. This housing not only accommodated existing residents, but it also
7/2/15 2:45 PM
56 . chap ter 3 absorbed migrants from the second wave of the Great Black Migration, who descend onto the city in the years after the War in search of work, to escape from Southern racism and have a better life. However, these massive structures ultimately failed. Why? Part of the reason was location. Postwar housing projects were built in the heart of the Black Belt,1 constructed over existing ghettos in Black neighborhoods.2 White communities used violence to make sure housing projects were built only in Black communities. In the neighborhood of Trumbull Park, for example, whites intimidated the Chicago Housing Authority and violently fought against efforts to build public housing in their neighborhood.3 Continued economic and spatial disenfranchisement of Black residents also contributed to the failure of the housing projects and produced, in many instances, intergenerational poverty based on geography. Additionally, the projects failed because of architecture. Postwar public housing in Chicago relied almost exclusively on high-rise models, which packed large numbers of people in less space, but such design isolated them from the rest of the city in the process. These failures were not simply mistakes of judgment: they were consequences of racist housing policies that worked to concentrate Black people into racially zoned sectors of the city. The tragedy of this story was how the city dealt with the failures. The general sense of instability that emerged within many high-rise housing projects as a result of failed promises gave rise to a set of practices to prevent leakage. These practices drew on the logic of prison.4 This chapter examines how carceral power informed high-rise housing projects on Chicago’s South Side. The writings of Black prisoners guide my thinking in this chapter. Their insights illuminate how planning, architecture, and security measures became the outward expressions of carceral power. My case study is focused on the Robert Taylor Homes on Chicago’s South Side. Starting at the end of the post–World War II period and continuing to the dawn of the 1980s, I detail how the project was turned into an interstitial carceral space, the spatial and architectural marriage between home and prison—the place between prison and home. My analysis is derived from the theorizing of imprisoned intellectuals like John Woodland, who use their carceral vision or ability to see the articulation of carceral power across landscapes. I utilize their analysis to identify the workings of carceral power in the Robert Taylor Homes. The 1949 Housing Act, which set the stage for the construction of the Taylor Homes, political and epistemological shifts in planning and architecture, the emergence of an economy of punishment, and the ideological use of crime fighting on the part of the state, not only facilitated the exercise of carceral power but, more important, located the Taylor homes in the space between freedom and incarceration, between prison and
7/2/15 2:45 PM
c arcer al interstice · 57
home. Carceral practices in the projects such as security forces, police raids of homes, curfews, metal detectors, onsite courts, parameter patrols and video surveillance primed a generation of Black men for life behind bars by fusing the punitive elements of prison and the quotidian realities of home. Housing projects are sites that have been infused with carceral power for decades. City planning, architecture, and the injection of security measures all contributed to enhanced carceral power in the projects, transforming the projects into something between a prison and home and linking them with the prison industrial complex (PIC). The project was a “hub” or network for relationships between carceral techniques and housing. And police, prisons, surveillance technology, bureaucratic institutions like the Chicago Housing Authority (CHA), and capital accumulation were the tools that fostered this link.5 Woodland describes the similarities and blurred lines between housing projects and prison, especially with regard to the projects’ architecture and use of security measures. Spending time in prison and in the projects provided Woodland with a way of seeing, which illuminates the workings of carceral power across different landscapes.6 Like the Black subject whom Du Bois described as “looking at oneself through the eyes of another,” the experience of captivity means that carceral space becomes an important framework for making sense of the larger world. Part of the task of this chapter is to highlight the important contributions imprisoned intellectuals make to theorize the social world by drawing heavily on the writings of U.S. prisoners.7 Taking a page from the work of activist scholars such as Angela Y. Davis, Dylan Rodriguez, Joy James, and Julia Sudbury, and prison abolitionist organizations like Critical Resistance, this chapter argues that prisoners are not, as some have come to see them, objects of analysis.8 Black prisoners bring important and critical insights to understanding the linkages between Black living space and carceral space. But the writing of Black prisoners does more than shed light on Black geographies; it also offers profound insights into how geography shapes subject formation. George Jackson’s critique of carceral power and the conditions of possibility for Black men shed light on how living under forms of captivity inform identity. Like Richard Wright, Jackson also recognizes how “politics in matter” shapes the subject.9 Therefore, I look to imprisoned intellectuals to theorize the link between prison, home, and identity.
The Carceral In a collective autobiography of friends growing up in the Taylor homes during the 1960s and 1970s, resident Roy “Big Honk” Johnson argued that if
7/2/15 2:45 PM
58 . chap ter 3 you come from the Robert Taylor Homes (RTH), “prison is where you are from.”10 Honk’s reading of the confluence of prison and the projects is not an anecdotal quip; rather, it is a nuanced reading of carceral power that takes into account the way geographies of incarceration inform the built environment of the home space in the RTH. Honk knew carceral power because he had grown up witnessing it. He saw it expressed in his neighborhood, growing more precise and punitive by the decade; he understood that the place he called home was more than what bell hooks calls “home space.”11 For Honk, the housing project inhabited a fissure between home space and prison space. In that fissure Honk learned above all that he was being primed to endure prison’s daily articulation. Honk’s insights illustrate that in order for carceral power to be exercised, it had to function through a system of enclosure and order. Like the school, the factory, and the hospital, which are physically segregated through walls and controlled through surveillance and containment, the project needed mechanisms of segregation to ensure that the dissemination of carceral power, what Foucault termed the “communication of punishments,” could be articulated.12 In this way, architecture and planning were essential to the flow of carceral power in the project.
Race, Architecture, and Urban Planning What forces contributed to the Robert Taylor Homes inhabiting the space between freedom and captivity? Swiss-born architect and urban planner Le Corbusier’s ideas played an important role. A giant among urban planners during the early twentieth century, Le Corbusier is considered to be the father of modern architecture. In addition to his distinctive style, Le Corbusier was also was one of the first to use planning and architecture to respond to demographic changes in American cities. He thought that American cites needed management, and he sought to do precisely that through planning. Housing was key to this process. Le Corbusier envisioned a city in which large, high-rise apartments would rule the skyway and provide homes for the proletariat. His “islands in the sky” foreshadowed the way racism, architecture, and planning conspired to confine poor Blacks in housing projects.13 He unfolded this plan in his opus The Radiant City. Le Corbusier’s prolific career lasted half a century. His vast writings on architecture, design, and art were profoundly influential; many of his ideas shaped the building of cities across the globe. Architecture theorist Mabel O. Wilson argues that in the Unites States, Le Corbusier deployed his architectural and planning prowess to manage the rapidly changing demography
7/2/15 2:45 PM
c arcer al interstice · 59
of the city. His writings racially organized the city in an effort to control an increasingly diversifying urban landscape that he saw as “mismanaged.”14 Wilson writes: While seeking an American society founded upon and organized by racial patriarchy, Le Corbusier instead discovers a culture churning with racialized bodies and unbridled feminine figures. As the cure, he presents his Radiant City as an urban architectural mechanism that socio-spatially enforces and guarantees racial patriarchal order. Le Corbusier’s skyscrapers . . . symbolize the restoration of a Western culture that transcends and masters filth, the infiltration of “blackness,” and the materiality of the body. Aspiring to stem off an ideological upheaval and revolution ignited by the destructive forces of a heretofore mismanaged industrialism, Le Corbusier made plans, architectural plans for a Radiant City. His new metropolis would be a panacea for the current ills of modern urban life. Ironically, Le Corbusier’s theories and architecture for a gleaming white metropolis and the ideal society depends upon a controlled blackness.15
Le Corbusier’s architecture, at least as far as its expression in the United States is concerned, was informed by a multitude of social formations that were institutional, cultural, and ideological. I do not believe that Le Corbusier was a racist, hell-bent on oppressing the people of color. Nevertheless, like many planners, he saw the multiracial, multiethnic city as an obstacle to modernity, an obstacle that had to be managed. The Robert Taylor Homes clearly express how Le Corbusier’s ideas set in motion a geographic chain of events that negatively impacted Black people. His planning and architecture inspired the building of the Robert Taylor Homes; they reflected his love of high-rise urban living and encapsulated his preference of open spaces. Most important, they advanced and embodied his philosophy of racial management.16 Though he believed such housing could ensure the color line did not blur, he did not foresee the effects his ideas would have on the lives of poor Blacks in the late twentieth century. His ideas became the context—the blueprint—that enabled the project to become a site for the expression of carceral power.
The 1949 Housing Act Devised under the Truman administration, which sought to do away with the detestable circumstances of “five million families still living in slums and firetraps” and the uncomfortable realities of “three million families [who] share their homes with others,” the 1949 Housing Act put taxpayer funds
7/2/15 2:45 PM
60 . chap ter 3 behind Le Corbusier’s modern city.17 Truman’s efforts at reform, by addressing the plight of eight million workers, most of them Black, in Northern cities, was a promise to end discriminatory housing and drive a nail into the coffin of the kitchenette. The Housing Act was the first piece of legislation to acknowledge the citizenship of Blacks in the city, and it did so by offering them new, affordable housing. This was an investment in the lives of cities’ newest residents and signaled that the alienation these citizens endured was ending. On the surface, the act realized the hopes and dreams of Black migrants. It radically reshaped the city by eliminating blighted areas and improving the housing stock and supply, the majority of which was public housing located mostly in Black neighborhoods.18 The Housing Act was also the impetus for urban renewal, which ultimately removed Black people from areas of the city deemed slums. Urban renewal ruptured bonds, disappeared people, and fragmented the social cohesion that had taken years to build. By providing funds to destroy areas that had seen better days, the housing act effectively destroyed the support system that Black communities across the nation relied upon, which had significant consequences.19 This structure set the stage for the rise of carceral power that defined housing projects in the late twentieth century. The 1949 Housing Act provided the funds necessary for cities like Chicago to implement Le Corbusier’s ideas, without which the Taylor homes would not have been built. Le Corbusier, by this time, had became a dominant figure in American planning and architecture, and his ideas influenced a generation of practitioners, scholars, and students, largely because state governments in several cities used his ideas to organize their urban spaces. In addition to funds, the Housing Act significantly expanded the state’s role in housing. Prior to the passage of the act, the federal government had been marginally involved in housing. After the passage of the act, millions of people came under its purview. The eight million people Truman mentioned in his speech were effectively managed at the federal level by the Federal Housing Association (FHA) and on the local levels by agencies like the Chicago Housing Authority.20 These two actions— making funds available for Le Corbusier’s radiant city and the expansion of the housing authority—ultimately enabled carceral power to enter housing. The Housing Act put the infrastructure in place—open space, buildings, and expressways that segregated communities—and provided funds to build it. Now with funding, Le Corbusier’s ideas, which as demonstrated sought to manage the racialized city, were deployed within the Black Belt, enabling the flow of carceral power through them. This had significant consequences for residents in Chicago’s largest and most audacious housing project.
7/2/15 2:45 PM
c arcer al interstice · 61
Building Robert Taylor During the 1980s and 1990s, Chicago’s Robert Taylor Homes were synonymous with crime, disorder, and the existence of violence in the project, all of which were often blamed on the project’s residents. However, large-scale economic shifts contributed to the project’s instability. The decline of the postwar economy and the migration of factory jobs threw many project residents out of decent-wage jobs. But economic factors cannot explain the decline of the Robert Taylor Homes. Location, planning, and architecture also had a powerful influence on the levels of crime in the project. The Robert Taylor Homes were constructed between 1960 and 1962 on ninety-five acres of land near the city’s core. It was one-quarter mile wide and two miles long, with forty-four hundred units—making it the largest housing development in the world. At its peak it housed twenty-seven thousand residents packed into an eight-block radius. The project was named after former CHA chairman Robert Taylor, who died five years before the project opened.21 Taylor, ironically, was not a fan of high-rise housing, especially for poor Blacks. His initial plan was low-rise housing spread over ninety-two acres. This idea was shot down in favor of a more cost-effective high-rise plan.22 Though city planners and the members of the political establishment hoped that the Robert Taylor Homes “would be a first step in turning miles of blighted South Side ghettos into equal members of the ‘city of neighborhoods,’” this goal was never realized.23 A major reason for this failure was location. Against the backdrop of Le Corbusier’s design and increasing efforts to segregate the city, RTH was built in the heart of the Black Belt. White Chicagoans and their political representatives made the project’s location in a Black neighborhood a forgone conclusion. Public fears over Black criminality, declining housing values, and anxieties about crossing the color line foreclosed any possibility for the creation of an interracial community. Contained public housing became the dominant spatial paradigm instead.24 architecture
We can get a good sense of the purpose a structure serves and how it makes us feel through its architecture. The RTH architecture spoke loudly. As the expression of human need put to form, architecture does more than shield us from the environment or please us aesthetically; at its core, architecture elicits profound feelings. Sometimes these feelings are joy, while other times they are boredom, indifference, sadness, or pain; still, architecture provokes
7/2/15 2:45 PM
62 . chap ter 3 emotional reactions. Buildings are more than simple structures: they “represent social ideals; they are political statements.”25 Examining RTH architecture reveals its role in managing the “conflict of color.”26 In line with Le Corbusier’s hopes for the modern city, the project would cure the ills of urban amalgamation through minimizing interracial interaction by providing racial and ethnic groups with a place of their own. The RTH sought to manage the emerging racial conflict produced though the changing urban landscape. Like most post–World War II housing projects, the RTH were built for Black residents.27 As Blacks were seen as criminally inclined, managing this criminality and containing the residents was a central function of the RTH’s architecture. The “open areas” that surrounded the project illustrate this. Here, again, we see the influence of Le Corbusier’s thinking. He vigorously argued that residential areas must be separated into two distinct spaces: clearly defined areas for traffic and empty spaces for “passive recreation” that would assuage the need for “viewing and gazing from the building.”28 Under these guidelines, planners and architects in Chicago built vertically to accommodate openness.29 Le Corbusier thought open areas would bring people together and create community. But in the Robert Taylor Homes it isolated and closed residents off from the world around them. The twenty-eight RTH towers covered only “7 percent of the ninety-six acres” the project sat on.30 The lack of pathways between buildings made the open spaces lifeless; they had no real function.31 With the exception of two parks, the space around the towers was not utilized and did not provide residents with spaces of comfort or play. Moreover, there were no trees to shield residents from the sun. The unused open space between buildings consisted more of concrete dead space than functional space. The open spaces that encircled the buildings made each a mini-archipelago, which discouraged contact within the broader community. The lack of pathways between buildings did not encourage interaction among residents in different buildings. However, this design element had the effect of creating strong bonds and fostering connections among residents within buildings and was compounded by the fact that numerous pathways existed inside the buildings that encouraged interaction among residents. By not making the open areas within the RTH complex useable, the federal government, which touted housing projects as a symbol of modernity and a promise to enfranchise Black residents in Chicago, failed, doing more to isolate residents than to build community. “We live stacked on top of each other with no elbow room,” observed one resident.32 The postwar high-rise model for public housing was almost exclusively the norm in high-density cities like Chicago and New York, and even
7/2/15 2:45 PM
c arcer al interstice · 63
in less dense places like Detroit. Impersonal and imposing, high-rises within segregated communities packed tens of thousands of people served by public housing into a single structure. This containment had the subsequent effect of harnessing Black political power. 33 The concentration of Black residents created large Black voting blocks that helped to elect the city’s first women and first Black mayors. “The failure of public housing built in Chicago after 1956” argues one urban historian, “was due in large part to the type of housing built, mostly large units in high-rise, inner-city buildings.”34 Constructing high-rise apartments was more cost effective; furthermore, “low-rises” or “walk-ups”—buildings only three to four stories high—used more land. Although the Housing Act gave municipalities the power to tear down blight, they did not use the cleared land for housing and instead sold a large portion of it to developers for commercial ventures.35 A consequence of using high-rise housing structures to enable racial segregation was that they made it possible to keep Blacks in certain parts of the city, effectively cutting them off from the resources that would enable social and economic growth. pl anning
Soon after the project’s opening, the planners of RTH and the CHA realized that the facilities were insufficient for the volume of people in the project. The twenty thousand children who lived in there by 1965 put enormous stress on facilities. The large park located in the project’s center and the area’s basketball courts quickly suffered under the wear and tear of children’s play. This lack of sufficient recreational space (for which the CHA had no budget and no funds for repairs) forced children to make use of areas not meant for play. The train tracks to the east, in addition to hallways and stairwells, became the new social spaces for the youths in the projects. Few places were more exciting than the elevator. Children packed themselves into elevators, ascending and descending rapidly, jumping off before they reached their destination. Children’s play in the elevators quickened the units’ mechanical deterioration. Over the years the RTH’s insufficient and run-down facilities would be a constant source of resident outcry. Residents organized to force the CHA to make significant changes to better serve the community, but budget shortfalls mixed with the Housing Authority’s growing lack of concern for the welfare of resident’s stymied efforts. Until its demolition in 2007, residents of the RTH lived in a world of malnourished facilities. Planning also placed the project in a field of barriers. Units were contained in twenty-eight identical, sixteen-story buildings, grouped in a U-shape formation and encircled with cages of meshed wire.36 The buildings were
7/2/15 2:45 PM
64 . chap ter 3 constructed within a field of containment. To the west was the mammoth Dan Ryan Expressway, which, after its opening in 1967, cut off access to Bridgeport, the working/middle-class, white, and resource-rich community to the west, a mostly Polish neighborhood that housed the stadium where the Chicago White Sox played. As whites had fled to the outer limits of Chicago, city officials constructed an expressway to ferry them between downtown and the suburbs. For Black residents in the RTH, the mammoth Dan Ryan Expressway acted as a physical barrier. It kept Black Belt residents on the “low end” away from Bridgeport’s citizens and resources. To the east of the RTH was a large train yard, which further delimited movement. North was downtown, an area where Blacks did not feel welcome. In addition to this, an autocratic management style centralized all RTH physical operations, which enabled the CHA to control things such as heat, leaving residents with relatively little individual agency in their own homes.37 The coup de grâce of this carceral planning was the very entrance to the complex: vehicles drove along a U-shaped road, which gave police easy access for monitoring resident activity. The project was a world unto itself. Spatially adrift, the RTH was set apart from the larger community. With things like onsite grocery stores, a health clinic, social service agencies, and a few small businesses, the project had everything located within. On the one hand, having services onsite was convenient and also encouraged community building yet on the other hand, because much of residents’ social life was constituted inside the domain of the project, they felt isolated from the larger community. “The world looks on all of us as project rats, living on a reservation like untouchables,” argued one resident.38
Securitization Nothing illustrates the insertion of carceral power into the project better than the rise of security measures. The emergence of onsite police, surveillance equipment, and physical changes to the project ushered in a new era of securitization for the RTH. This move was buoyed by the Johnson administration’s discourse that crime control and prevention was the most important function of the state.39 The ascendance of the American preoccupation with crime produced a governing logic, or “governmentality” that made all the steps the state took to prevent crime seem normal. Indeed, crime prevention was cast as the rational thing to do, no matter its cost or impact.40 A governing logic that projects crime fighting as the central function of the
7/2/15 2:45 PM
c arcer al interstice · 65
state can justify spending unprecedented resources on crime control, even to the detriment of the citizenry. It can sanction diverting large amounts of state resources into the criminal justice system at the expense of schools and hospitals; sink billions of tax dollars into policing and incarceration while defunding schools; make crime control the single most important function of the state and ensure that political elections hinge on which candidate has the most punitive platform. All of these factors have significant public policy implications. If the prison abolitionist movement has done nothing else, it has cogently and forcefully demonstrated that anticrime policies over the past four decades have left marginalized communities with more issues to confront and less stability overall. No piece of modern legislation better demonstrates this point than the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968, the legal fundament for linking prisons with private capital that used punishment as an industry to absorb surplus workers to staff the country’s prisons, surplus land on which to build prisons, surplus state capacity to absorb the costs, and surplus bodies to serve as the raw material for the building of a new industry.41 This gave rise to massive growth in criminal justice, which expanded policing and prisons, dumped billions of dollars into these fields, and created ideological links between crime and punishment. Activists and scholars have dubbed this “the prison industrial complex.” The waning of the postwar economy during the mid-1960s left a hole that the funds put into crime control would partially fill. In states like California, the economic crisis was averted and financial growth produced in large measure by a “prison fix,” where crime control and prison expansion were used to buttress the slumping economy.42 Using excess land, putting surplus laborers to work (and others in prison), and drawing on state capacity to facilitate both, was made possible in part by grants given to states by the 1968 crime bill. In short, the bill mobilized the transformation of the United States from the “welfare state” to the “penal state.”43 Since 1973 the rate of incarceration has increased steadily; it has done so whether crime rates were low or high, whether the country was at war or in peacetime, and whether Democrats or Republicans were in power.44 The growth of the criminal justice system in the late twentieth century and its continued expansion was primarily a product of the legacy of the 1968 Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act. With crime as the new rationale for government and its unlimited resources, the push to stop crime in housing projects was underway. This battle raged on for decades, yet even with all the resources available to the state, crime in the projects never ceased. In the 1970s, in an attempt to forestall the rising crime rates, the CHA, with the help of the Chicago police department,
7/2/15 2:45 PM
66 . chap ter 3 inserted numerous security measures to secure the population.45 The CHA utilized expanding resources—provided by the crime bill—for policing, initiating what would come to be an ever-present securitizing force in the projects. Under the logic of crime control, the Reagan administration cut HUD’s funding and increased policing levels in the projects. Congress contested the attempt to defund, yet the program suffered cuts from which it never recovered.46 One area in the HUD budget, however, that did not receive cuts was security; it was the only area of funding to receive an increase. Crime control now outweighed community building; it was at the center of states’ duties and became central to the function of the states, allowing them to abrogate their responsibility for sound policymaking and pursue instead a course of unproductive, costly, and deeply destructive legislation that created instability rather than safety. This had significant consequences for public housing. An ethos of crime fighting became insidious and extended its tentacles into vast sectors of U.S. society. Cities such as Los Angeles embraced it with such frenzy that the security apparatus (both state and private) functioned with panoptic reach and blended into the physical landscape, becoming part of the city’s mise-en-scène.47 The expansion of security mechanisms in the RTH—much like in Los Angeles—was folded into the project’s landscape and created insecurity and resentment rather than safety. space of securit y
By the early 1970s security measures were deployed in the RTH in the wake of escalating violence sparked by gang conflict. The grand irony of the crimefighting binge is that it did not curtail crime; throughout the 1980s, 1990s, and into the twenty-first century, crime continued.48 Nevertheless, the CHA, with the aid of the Chicago police, inserted “technologies of security” like police officers, security guards, and surveillance equipment.49 What this securitization did for certain was to exercise forms of carceral power over the population. Through the deployment of a series of techniques, changes to the physical structure, and practices like identification checks, every resident and person who entered the project was forced to submit to the security process. In the early 1980s Mayor Jane Byrne commissioned a study of security at high-rise projects.50 Cabrini-Green, a West Side high-rise, was used as the case study. The report offered recommendations for structural and security upgrades to stem escalating crime rates and was heavily informed by the thinking of Oscar Newman, a planner who emphasized “defensible space.” Defensible space referred to the need to make habitable spaces open, visible, and cooperative to surveillance that was hidden in plain sight.51 Like Ben-
7/2/15 2:45 PM
c arcer al interstice · 67
tham’s panopticon prison design, which used architecture to “induce in the inmate a state of consciousness and permanent visibility,”52 the insertion of surveillance into the intimate lives of residents made it possible for security forces to monitor resident activity. The commission used Newman’s analysis to make distinctions between what they considered basic and enhanced security. The compromise the commission struck was not an aesthetic move; it was intended to make normal the security and the carceral power it articulated. Newman’s proposed use of architecture and planning to hide security processes worked all too neatly with Le Corbusier’s design in that towers were structurally amenable to policed entryways. The profound danger of Newman’s ideas lay in their normalization. By camouflaging surveillance practices, residents were monitored without consent by an omniscient eye. The recommendations that emanated from the Byrne report had profound effects on Chicago housing projects, especially the RTH. The insertion of security-recommended measures made the project prisonlike. Structurally, the RTH already resembled an institution of confinement.53 The cages that covered the buildings clearly illustrate this. The corridors of the Taylor towers had exposed balconies on each floor with chain-link fencing covering them. The result: “The children [here] are surrounded by wire mesh and fencing that makes their living environment resemble the catwalks of a prison,” argued one scholar.54 The purpose of the fencing was to stop people from falling over the five-foot railing. However, it also reified entrapment and made residents feel “as if they have been sealed in . . . as if they weren’t supposed to escape.”55 The Byrne report also proposed changes to the project’s landscape that included enclosures at the ground floor to force pedestrians to enter and exit through a central location, video surveillance in the lobbies, curfews, more police, lighting systems, controlled visitation, metal detectors, turnstiles in the lobbies, and “perimeter patrols.”56 One of the more egregious and paternalistic measures of control and surveillance was the “resident identification system.”57 Each resident received an I.D. card—which included name, building number, and apartment number, and which residents had to carry at all times and could not enter their buildings without them. The CHA also put forward plans for onsite “misdemeanor courts” (benched by local judges who would dole out “punishments”) and proposed levying fines for infractions.58 CHA security tactics did much to make the project feel and look like a prison. In September 1988, CHA chairman Vincent Lane instituted a controversial plan to root out crime—“Operation Clean Sweep.” According to the CHA, the purpose of the program was to “clear out dope peddlers, gang
7/2/15 2:45 PM
68 . chap ter 3 members, and squatters with no right to be in the building.”59 This expensive program (which cost in upwards of $200,000 per sweep) was welcomed by some residents but rejected by others. Supporters of the program saw it as a “godsend,”60 saying that the program pushed out the gangs and drug dealers who had taken over buildings and created terror within the community. Operation Clean Sweep, they argued, created safety for a vulnerable population. There was also vocal opposition to the program. One resident, responding to sweeps, argued that the CHA had “no right invading peoples’ privacy . . . you can’t just come in and make an inspection.”61 The ACLU filed suite against the CHA to stop the practice.62 Despite the mixed reactions to the plan, what Operation Clean Sweep did for certain was place the project in a state of siege. It suspended constitutional guarantees, eroded rights, and created in the project a perpetual “state of exception.”63 Operation Clean Sweep was enabled by security changes that the Byrne Report sanctioned. Without these changes the operation would not have taken place. In this way, the Byrne report stands on the shoulders of Le Corbusier’s thinking. In fact, the Byrne Report and subsequently Operation Clean Sweep were attempts to right the ship of the Radiant City. Indeed, as the crime and instability in the project continued, the city instituted physical and security changes to stem the tide. However, state intervention proved to be detrimental—not because state intervention was destructive (a point conservative thinkers support) but because it sought to contain the poverty in the project instead of dealing with the social forces (namely, segregation and poverty) that enabled it. Against the backdrop of crime fighting and securitization, the Byrne Report and Operation Clean Sweep further entrenched the circulation of carceral power that Le Corbusier’s ideas launched.
Robert Taylor Homes and Carceral Interstice The abundance of security measures that shaped the project—chain-link fencing that covered the balconies, policing, video surveillance, perimeter patrols, controlled visitation, curfews, apartment sweeps, metal detectors, stopand-frisk techniques, turnstiles, onsite courts, and the resident identification program—radically transformed the built environment of the project. It also changed its function, moving it from a home space to a liminal place between home and prison. On the one hand, the project was a playground for children, a place for families to live and for communities to congregate. On the other hand, architecture, planning, and an abundance of security measures made it feel and look like a prison. The result was a spatial nexus between home
7/2/15 2:45 PM
c arcer al interstice · 69
and prison, captivity and freedom. Carceral power did not make the RTH into a prison, and the RTH was not simply a home space: it neither uniformly sanctioned captivity nor wholeheartedly expressed freedom. Assata Shakur (now living in exile in Cuba) theorized the lacuna between the places poor Blacks live and prison: For many, prison is not that much different than from the street. . . . Sick call is no different from the clinic of the hospital or the emergency room. The fights are the same. The police are the same. The poverty is the same. The alienation is the same. The racism is the same. The sexism is the same. The drugs are the same and the system is the same.64 . . . The only difference between here and the streets is that one is maximum security and the other is minimum security.65
Shakur used the presence of what Foucault called “penitentiary techniques”— surveillance, policing, enclosure—to note the existence of carceral power within Black geographies. By referencing the resemblance between the spaces where Black people lived and prison, Shakur’s analysis highlighted the exercise of carceral power made possible through forms of geographic constraint that were part of the landscape. The RTH functioned similarly. It was heavily policed, isolated, and spatially contained. But more than being like a prison, Black geographies, for Shakur, exist in a space between home and prison. Indeed, the RTH was home to thousands of people. Residents created lives for themselves there, doing many of the everyday things most people do. But they did this in a place built to contain them. Shakur’s observation, therefore, highlights the inherent contradiction in the geography of the Robert Taylor Homes—neither fully home nor total prison, but liminal space between the two. In addition to illustrating the spatial lacuna between the project and prison, Shakur’s words ask us to complicate singular ways of reading the RTH. It calls into question the promise upon which the project was built. Did the project provide hope, did it realize its promise, and did it offer possibility? Yes—but while diminishing hope, breaking its promise, and punishing the population living within. The RTH helped move thousands of poor and working-class Blacks out of the awful kitchenettes, and in doing so they gestured toward Black enfranchisement and created the possibility of radically changing their lives. But at the same time the project reified carceral power, failed on its promise of Black citizenship, and fostered despair where hope and possibility once lived. The RTH was a space of inherent contradiction. It was situated at the intersection of possibility and punishment, teetering on
7/2/15 2:45 PM
70 . chap ter 3 the brink, swinging between poles, stuck in a netherworld. The hybrid space the project inhabited also calls modernity into question. Modernity was supposed to right the wrongs of the kitchenette and transform urban life. This did not happen. For Blacks in the RTH, modernity proved as destructive as it promised to be productive. Echoing Shakur’s insights, Big Honk understood the link between prison and home. What was revealed to him were ways in which Le Corbusier’s design model accommodated imprisonment. He experienced it walking across the acres of open space that isolated the towers, felt it through the presence of police and the ubiquitous security measures that came to define the project. He felt it in the cages that were just outside his front door, the first thing he saw as he exited his home. Honk saw carceral power in its most naked form, stripped of all its discourses, promises, and cloaks. He understood its divergent agendas and could see the impact it had on residents. The RTH was his home, but it was also the place that imprisoned him. The dialectic of modern urban architecture, planning, and securitization placed the Robert Taylor Homes in a fissure between home and prison. Honk’s ability to see this dialectic made him a witness to the Janus head of modernity, with its dual purpose of remaking the city while containing blackness.
Subject Formation In her essay “Identity: Skin Blood Heart,” educator and activist Minnie Bruce Pratt writes about her experiences as a white woman living in a Black neighborhood. In her reading of Pratt’s reflections, feminist geographer Kathleen Kirby notes that, for Pratt, “space and where we are in it . . . determines a large portion of our status as subjects.”66 The bars, policing, and surveillance that were the project’s hallmarks played an important role in creating subjects. If subjects are produced geographically, then security measures in the projects that informed and shaped the project’s geography played a role in producing the subjectivities they purported to eliminate. Honk’s parents hoped that raising him in Robert Taylor would greatly improve his life chances. This was not the case. Robert Taylor Homes became Honk’s “finishing school instead, a seminar in the economics of crime.”67 By the time he reached his preteen years, Honk had “tasted codeine” and experimented with harder drugs. By thirteen he was working in the drug trade. At fifteen he was robbing from local shopping centers and reselling the goods in the project.68 On the surface, Honk’s criminality reinscribed the stereotypes uttered by Hoffman about the unbreakable bond between blackness and crime. In light of the findings in this chapter, however, Hoffman’s
7/2/15 2:45 PM
c arcer al interstice · 71
stance is further weakened; Honk’s criminality has to be reconsidered. When examined against the backdrop of Kirby’s analysis, Honk’s venture into crime complicates the discourse of Black criminality. Honk’s participation in crime was largely a sociospatial product, a byproduct of growing up in the lacuna between prison and home. Young men like Honk played the part that geography created for them.69 As Honk said, “If you came from Trey-nine . . . prison was just a change of address.”70 Honk realized that the design of the projects was a not-so-subtle indication that the residents were criminals, that they had to be contained, that punishment and surveillance was part of their daily lives. If Robert Taylor became Honk’s finishing school in crime, its enclosure and securitization were pedagogical tools. The cages that contained Honk and the police who monitored his activities made him, like Bigger Thomas, hostile and angry, dampened his perspective on the possibilities of a better life, and made performing the “bad guy” normal. The late imprisoned thinker and activist George Jackson offers important insights about the impact that carceral power has on identity formation. He argued that living in a Chicago housing project—the architecture, planning, police, surveillance, and the overall security practices that inform Black geographies—“prepared” him for prison.71 Jackson felt this because he experienced the same exercise of carceral power that shaped Honk into a hustler. For Jackson, carceral power took the symbiotic forms of captivity he saw expressed between home and prison. It was the “minimum-security prison” Blacks lived in and the ubiquity of the presence of security within Black geographies. Racialized practices expressed via geography became normalized, rationalized, and even (for some segments of the society) desirable.
Robert Taylor Homes and the Prison Industrial Complex Jackson and many other Black men and women who went to prison from the 1960s onward were being ushered into the institution amid a period of escalating incarceration rates for Blacks and other people of color. This phenomenon marks the beginning of the prison industrial complex, a useful analytical and historical context to understand how the RTH came to occupy a liminal space between home and prison. First articulated by geographer Mike Davis, the prison industrial complex represents the massive economic, discursive, and political shifts that changed the way prisons contributed to social and economic order. For example, California’s changing political economy during the 1970s laid the groundwork for the direction the state took to reshape its economy. Economic shifts produced
7/2/15 2:45 PM
72 . chap ter 3 during this period created “surpluses of finance capital, land, labor, and state capacity, not all of which were politically, economically, socially, or regionally absorbed.”72 The surpluses put in motion the prison-building binge that continued until the early twenty-first century.73 Herein lies a fundamental element of the prison industrial complex: its capacity to foster relationships. The relationships between capital-producing institutions, such as those between private corporations and the state, are central to understanding how the prison industrial complex works.74 It should be noted that the prison industrial complex refers to many things. Scholars and activists have used this formulation to refer to the unprecedented building of prisons and the boarder criminal justice system that engenders it. Because of its multiple elements, scholars have approached the PIC from various perspectives. Some scholars, for instance, have highlighted the role of white supremacy, “penal democracy,” neoliberal racist exploitation, and state management of the poor as important factors of the prison industrial complex.75 Others have highlighted its profound gender exploitation.76 Recently, geographers have examined the role of the prison industrial complex in boarder construction, migration, and immigrant detention.77 And scholars of sexuality have interrogated the link between the prison industrial complex and sexuality.78 What links these projects is not simply their critical examination of the punishment industry; their implicit acknowledgments, too, of the role relationships play in the exercise carceral power is key. For my purposes, I focus on the relationship-building element of the prison industrial complex. As Angela Y. Davis argues, “An array of relationships” is at the heart of the prison industrial complex because much of its coercive power is expressed through those relationships,79 as they are expressed, for example, through the prisons as “hubs” for economic mobility in the context of the vacuum created through industrial decline. In the wake of corporate flight to the underdeveloped world, prisons have become the institutions that circulate capital in rural landscapes through things like purchasing food, building buildings, staffing, creating technologies to detain prisoners, feeding prisoners, providing medical services, expanding police forces to arrest, purchasing water, and requisitioning uniforms and a slew of other resources to ensure the institution runs. The relationship between the production and circulation of capital and the criminal justice system is a classic example of the function of the prison industrial complex. In this relationship, the criminal justice system uses mass incarceration as a way to supplement the losses from deindustrialization and corporate flight. Marx’s distinction between the capitalist and the “miser” helps to make sense of this phenomenon. Although the miser has a boundless drive for value and profit,
7/2/15 2:45 PM
c arcer al interstice · 73
because he saves his money from circulation, the miser cannot achieve what the capitalist does by “throwing his money again and again into circulation.”80 To that degree, the prison industrial complex is like the capitalist who realizes that he must build relationships with other institutions (for example, clothing retailers, food suppliers, contractors, and the like) to generate and circulate wealth. Like the prison industrial complex, the liminal zone between prison and home in the Robert Taylor Homes flourished by way of numerous relationships. For instance, the presence of drugs and high levels of crime brought police and surveillance to the project. The state paid for law enforcement units to monitor the complex. City police worked with foot patrol or “beat” cops; “special” municipal law enforcement worked on specific projects like “gang intelligence.” Both worked with the security force maintained by the CHA. Moreover, the state issued identification cards to residents, purchased video surveillance equipment, installed Plexiglas and security cameras, and erected fences to enclose the buildings—all were procured from private agencies. Robert Taylor and the prison industrial complex are further linked by the politics of the postwar period. Moving from the totalitarian white supremacy of Jim Crow and lynch law before the war to thinly veiled attempts to legally and morally contain and punish Blacks after World War II, prison expansion hid the legacy of racialized punishment under claims of domestic security. Hence, the “mysterious” or fetish characteristic of the prison rests on its ability to reflect the racist legacy of punishment and containment as objective characteristics of law and order.81 One of the more significant and enduring ways the Robert Taylor Homes and the prison industrial complex converge is via prison construction. Between 1970 and 2001, Illinois built thirty-two prisons and juvenile facilities to house a population of 32,720 prisoners. The majority of these prisoners come from Cook County, where Chicago is located.82 A 2001 study conducted by the Urban Institute shows that of the 30,068 prisoners released from Illinois prisons in that year, 52 percent were from Chicago.83 Six neighborhoods were the primary feeders of this population. These poor and almost entirely Black communities accounted for 34 percent of Chicago prisoners returning home.84 The neighborhood the RTH was located in was one of the major feeders to the Illinois Department of Corrections and the Cook County Jail. In the aftermath of Operation Clean Sweep and the new politics of cracking down on crime, mass arrests were routine in the project.85 Indeed, the “iron fist” of militarized law enforcement that invaded the project was the next stage
7/2/15 2:45 PM
74 . chap ter 3 in the state of exception that gripped the RTH during the 1980s and 1990s.86 This not only illustrates the “domestic warfare” that imprisoned intellectuals like Marsh Eddie Conway theorize, but it also demonstrates that the project played a pivotal role in the number of people shipped to prisons in the state’s rural countryside.87 It is not by chance that prison construction boomed between 1970 and the early years of the twenty-first century. Robert Taylor Homes and projects like it produced a need for the state to respond to the situation it had created, and prisons were the primary way of confronting it. While the Robert Taylor Homes by no means filled the more than thirtytwo thousand beds created in prisons after 1970, it did fill a sizable number of them. Discursively, the project contributed to a political atmosphere in which prisons became the primary way to grapple with crime. Poor Black neighborhoods endured excessive levels of policing as a result of this shift. In effect, the RTH was a bellwether for the construction of prisons. And as the states’ industrial sectors dried up and economic, political, and racial crises mounted, prison construction and maintenance corralled some superfluous labor, particularly that of white men. Those bodies left out of the employment side of the prison boom, mostly Black men, became hypersuperfluous or excess—the raw material for maintaining prison expansion. The migration of men like Honk between the project and prison and back served only to exacerbate carceral power. In addition to the various carceral techniques and tactics scattered throughout the project, high incarceration rates of people in the neighborhood increased the number of men in and around the project who had experienced official incarceration, which reinforced the belief that the RTH was a de facto prison.
Conclusion Finally fed up with fighting a war against crime they could never win, the CHA demolished the Robert Taylor Homes in 2007 (along with several other housing projects), dispersing residents throughout the city. The displaced were offered housing vouchers (formerly Section 8) to help with the move; however, many residents had difficulty finding places to live. The stigma of being a Robert Taylor resident made it difficult for many to get housing.88 Razing the Robert Taylor Homes was the end of an era. It was the knocking down of walls, which contained poor Black residents who were enabled by racist public policy. Demolishing the project also dispersed residents across the city, many of whom had been close neighbors and in some cases even family. Some saw this move as positive—seeing the world “outside” the proj-
7/2/15 2:45 PM
c arcer al interstice · 75
ects for the first time. For others, the move was the end of a community they knew. But all residents were not ready for this transition, as the closed world of the project did not prepare residents to adjust to their new surroundings. In the end, what did the Robert Taylor Homes achieve? In a word: little. The project drained massive amounts of federal and state resources, stigmatized residents, produced and reinforced poverty, contained and diminished life chances, fattened state prisons, prepared people for prison, and in far too many cases led to premature death. The project was not a success story. Chicago is now dealing with the consequences of decades of containment. Anecdotes about the impact of “letting people out of the projects,” which shows how widespread the project-as-prison idea is, pepper news stories, beauty salon chatter, and barbershop talk in the city. In a letter to his father from prison, George Jackson solemnly described the way prison diminished his outlook on life: “I used to find enjoyment in walking in the rain, summer evenings. . . . All that is gone from me, all the gentle, shy characteristics of the black men have been wrung unceremoniously from my soul.”89 Prison put his soul to death long before mortally wounding his body. In the following chapters I examine the impact carceral power had on Black men who came of age during the 1980s, 1990s, and early in the twenty-first century. Beyond a focus on high incarceration rates, I demonstrate carceral power’s effects on gender performance and health.
7/2/15 2:45 PM
4 “Sores in the City” A Genealogy of the Almighty Black P. Stone Rangers There they are. Thirty at the corner. Black, raw, ready. Sores in the city That do not want to heal. —Gwendolyn Brooks, Blacks
Introduction In 1994 a young Black male from the Roseland neighborhood on Chicago’s South Side became the poster child for gang violence in America. His name was Robert “Yummy” Sandifer. He was nicknamed “Yummy” because of his love of cookies and sweets.1 He was eleven years old when, on August 28, he shot and killed Shavon Dean as part of a gang initiation for the Black Disciples. When news of the killing hit the airwaves later that day, the city collectively held their mouths in disbelief. How could an eleven-year-old boy kill a fourteen-year-old girl, we asked? A manhunt ensued, and city police searched high and low for the young suspect, who stood just 4'11". Two teenage members of the gang lured Sandifer out of hiding. They promised to take him out of the city, but instead they took young Sandifer to a viaduct and shot him twice in the head out of fear that he would be caught and inform on the gang. In the two decades since this tragedy, Chicago—and the nation—has thought long and hard about gang violence and violence among youth. The murders and subsequent incarcerations that surrounded this case had many causes: a failed school system, poverty, the war on drugs, persistent segregation, and mass incarceration. But why did Yummy kill Shavon Dean? Was
7/2/15 2:45 PM
“sores in the cit y ” · 77
he a monster, as many people claimed? Was he misguided and lost? Was he a victim? Does he even deserve to be thought about? Drawing on the spatial historical and theoretical framework I sketched in the previous chapters, this chapter examines how carceral power informed performances of Black masculinity in Black Chicago. By performed masculinity I mean the manufacturing of an internal essence of gender through a “sustained set of acts” on the body.2 Because gender is not natural but rather socially, spatially, and historically produced, gender performance illuminates how rituals and acts “stylize the body” into ideologically constructed notions of gender. For Black men, embodying gender is key in the performance of Black masculinity.3 As men who are always outside the category of masculinity, Black men, who often lack the material articulations of masculinity (in other words, gainful employment, mobility, property, access to institutions of power) rely on the body as a way to access masculinity. In this chapter I am particularly interested in demonstrating how gender performance has informed how Black men (like myself) who grew up in Chicago between the 1970s and mid-1990s understand masculinity. In Chicago (as well as other cities throughout the Black diaspora) gangs played a formidable role in the performance of Black masculinity. They did so not simply because of their swagger, clothing, or saturation, but because they were the group who had the strongest relationship with the criminal justice system. The criminal justice system, where Black men have moved in and out of for decades, was a masculinity-making institution, and I will illustrate how it shaped gangs and performances of Black masculinity.4 Black gangs were the tempest caused by the carceral current that swept through the city’s Black neighborhoods in the early 1960s. Carceral power was the spatial backdrop against which Black gangs like the Almighty Black P. Stone Rangers emerged. Architectures of confinement, restrictions on Black movement, ubiquitous policing, few job options, and rising rates of Black male incarceration provided the fertile carceral landscape for the germination of Black gangs. Some Black gangs even got their start in carceral institutions.5 But it was not only that carceral power was the context that gave rise to gangs; it also played a formable role in shaping their performance of masculinity. As the first generation of Black men to experience carceral power at home and in prison, Black gangs of the 1960s helped to circulate the performances of masculinity that shaped prison. Because they were formed within the milieu of prison, Black gangs borrowed the hegemonic elements of prison masculinity to form their expressions of masculinity. As “a key institutional site
7/2/15 2:45 PM
78 . chap ter 4 for the expression and reproduction of hegemonic masculinity,” prison was a kind of “resource” that enabled Black gangs to access masculine authority.6 This appropriation was in keeping with the generational predisposition toward appropriation, reuse, and remixing emblematic of those who grew up affected by economic divestment and deindustrialization that ravaged Black Chicago during the 1970s. The masculinity of Black gangs in turn informed the masculinities of prison. This form of carceral circularity created the context for prisonized gender performances. There was a distinct shift in performances of masculinity in Chicago between the 1970s and 1990s. By examining the shift from collective performances of Black/prison masculinity to individualized performances of prison masculinity, this chapter illuminates the shifting performances of carceral masculinity within Illinois state prisons and South Side neighborhoods.
Black Gangs and Carceral Space The study of “armed young men” goes back to the early twentieth century.7 The epicenter of that research, which today is called “gang studies,” was done at the Chicago School of Sociology at the University of Chicago.8 Gang studies, constituted within the context of liberal criminology and sympathetic to those who transgress the law, did not, however, take historical or structural inequality into account. This fit neatly with the Chicago School’s liberal sociology. The most notable figure in the school was the journalist-turnedsociologist Robert Park. In the 1920s Park and his colleagues argued that the migration of rural Southerners to densely packed cities shaped the “psychology” of the migrant.9 More recent scholars have examined how the “retreat of the state,” racism, poverty, and globalization have shaped the growth of gangs.10 While I borrow from gang studies to orient my analysis of Black gangs, I am critical of the discipline’s liberal criminological perspective. Therefore, my use of gang studies is limited. This chapter serves, in part, as a critique of gang studies. As demonstrated in the previous chapter, space and where we are located in it has profound implications for who we are and how we understand our gendered lives. The restrictive nature of carceral power challenges assumptions about the mobility and spatial control that masculinity is supposed to enable. In U.S. culture, despite the falseness of this claim, the space outside the home is viewed as the site for the production of manhood.11 As we saw with Bigger Thomas in chapter 2 and Roy “Big Honk” Johnson in chapter 3, the inability to exercise these dominant forms of masculinity that relied on spatial control had consequences for everyone around them.
7/2/15 2:45 PM
“sores in the cit y ” · 79
The spatial containment of Black men is nothing new. Indeed, it was a central part of their experience in this country. Read as licentious, criminal, violent, and rapacious, Black men have historically produced fear among whites, which has led to calls for their regulation, discipline, and dispersal.12 As demonstrated in chapter 1, fears of Black men in Chicago during the early twentieth century produced demands for their regulation and led to the shuttering of the interzones. But more than containment, carceral power in Chicago played a role in shaping how Black men understood and performed masculinity. Segregation, policing, and containment informed the landscape on which generations of Black boys and young men learned gender. This is most vividly expressed in the rise of Black gangs in Chicago. Black gangs were the pivot point between the performance of carceral masculinity in the quotidian space of the Black Belt and performances of carceral masculinity in prison. Examining Black gangs as a social group illuminates how carceral spatial formations augmented and informed gender performances both inside and outside prisons. The prison-like restrictions that contained much of the Black Belt were midwife to Chicago’s Black gangs. These gangs, or malformed “offspring,” emerged at a moment when carceral practices were most intense.13 Segregation was thriving, white flight was in full effect, policing of Black communities had increased, and the restrictions on housing walled Black people in. Richard J. Daley’s politics of Black containment, which was complicit with landlords’ restrictive covenants and determined his administration’s role as the political muscle behind housing projects, did much to provide fertile ground for Black gangs’ emergence.14
The Rise of Black Gangs Black gangs in Chicago were born amid expanding poverty in the Black Belt, disinvestment, despair, persistent inequality, and crowded living space.15 As was the case with the Italian mob that preceded them, Chicago’s Black gangs were formed along racial lines. Chicago Black gangs date back to the years after World War II.16 They came into existence on the heels of the end of the “policy” or gambling era.17 During this period most of the gangs were unorganized and small. They were populated by young men and often referred to as “clubs.”18 On the South Side, Black gangs emerged from the heart of the Black Belt. The Deacons, who started in the early 1940s, claimed the newly built Ida B. Wells housing project as their territory, while other Black gangs started up around the neighborhoods in the Black Belt.19 Nearly two decades later and a mile-and-a-half away, the Blackstone Rangers were born
7/2/15 2:45 PM
80 . chap ter 4 in Woodlawn. The Blackstones (also referred to as the Stones and the Black P. Stone Nation) emerged amid the construction of the projects along the State Street corridor at the end of the 1950s. The Stones formed in the early 1960s, made up of boys from Woodlawn—a mixed-income, mostly Black neighborhood. Their name came from Blackstone Street, which ran through Woodlawn. At the helm were Eugene “Bull” Hairston and Jeff “Angel” Fort. Prior to the 1950s, Woodlawn was mostly white. Post–World War II Black migration from the South changed the racial dynamic throughout the 1950s, which in turn spawned panic among whites, who ultimately fled the Woodlawn area as the number of Blacks moving in increased. Woodlawn was part of the expanded Black Belt where Blacks lived as they continued to migrate to the city during the second phase of the Great Black Migration, which was much different from the first; it was made up of mostly rural, poor Black people who lacked the kind of class pedigree that had characterized the first wave of the migration.20 This class distinction meant that second-wave migrants experienced increased poverty as well as alienation from the new city and from the first wave of migrants who came in the early part of the twentieth century. This gave rise to profound disillusionment among newcomers.21 Jeff Fort, the co-founder of the P. Stones, was part of that second migration, moving to the city from Aberdeen, Mississippi, with his mother in the early 1950s. The two-tier system of social and economic organization that defined Woodlawn was the context that Fort lived in. Black in-migration and white out-migration not only changed Woodlawn’s demography, but it also ushered in another form of containment. Restrictions on housing in Hyde Park to the north, white communities to the south, and Lake Michigan to the east kept Blacks out of white neighborhoods and trapped in the Black Belt, which by the 1950s had extended farther south to 60th Street. For example, when Woodlawn became a mostly Black neighborhood by the mid-1950s, the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) curtailed its bus service to the area and to many other low-income Black neighborhoods. This had a significant impact on Woodlawn because it choked off access to the vibrant Sixty-Third Street shopping area, the heart of the neighborhood’s economic base.22 Housing prices plummeted, as did rental prices; slumlords moved in, and responsible landowners moved out. Almost overnight, Woodlawn went from community to ghetto. Ghettoization also meant that population density increased. As Woodlawn transitioned from white to Black, its population doubled. When whites lived in Woodlawn, the neighborhood had enough housing to accommodate about forty thousand people. When Blacks moved in, eighty thousand people were squeezed in, which was a windfall to profit-seeking landlords who converted more single-family homes into
7/2/15 2:45 PM
“sores in the cit y ” · 81
kitchenettes.23 When Jeff Fort moved to Woodlawn with his family in the early 1950s, they lived in a cramped kitchenette.24 The walled-in community of Woodlawn was a fertile recruiting ground for the Blackstones. Membership in the Blackstones was an enticing offer to the thousands of young men and boys who spilled onto the streets, many of whom had too much time on their hands and too few job prospects. These young men were brash, thumbed their noses at authority, were stylish and flush with cash from Great Society programs and independent funders.25 During the 1960s the Johnson administration, along with Democrats, created a series of programs to address poverty and racial inequality. In Chicago, the federal government funded initiatives to provide resources to address urban poverty. The Woodlawn Organization, which was started in the early 1960s and led by Nicholas Von Hoffman, a young white organizer, received federal funds that were used to work with the Stones. The hope was that if the Stones could be drawn in and politicized, this would diminish the friction between the Stones and their chief rivals, the Disciples. The Stones accepted the partnership but used this mainstream support to strengthen and expand their organization, which caused deep resentment among the Disciples, who lacked institutional support.26 Ask any Black Chicagoan about the Stones and you will likely hear one of two responses: some will say the Stones were a street organization that tried to exact control over Black communities in the face of ongoing economic and political divestment on the part of the white establishment; others will surely say they were thugs who exploited the Black community for their own selfish needs. There is no singular way to characterize the Blackstones; they were many things at different times. More than revolutionaries or thugs— or a combination of both—the Blackstone Rangers were also “architects of social space” in a setting that was often unkind to them.27 Amid segregation, restrictions on housing, and rising overpopulation, the Blackstones made it possible for young Black boys—like Fort—who felt alienated from their new urban settings to construct identity and geographic belonging. Being a Stone gave Black male youth something they could lay claim to; it was a way of existing with which boys like Fort could identify. Fort recognized that, without a place, the Blackstone identity could not endure. With so little space in Woodlawn, Fort used all his know-how to find the Stones “a place of their own.” Be it a church, pool hall, corner, apartment building, or “makeshift” temple, place was vital to the Blackstone ethos.28 It is important to think about the Blackstone spatial ethos not only against the backdrop of the geography of Woodlawn but also against Black men’s relationship to space. Black men have a complicated relationship with public
7/2/15 2:45 PM
82 . chap ter 4 space. Stripped of what Craig L. Wilkins terms “spatial empowerment,” Black men have fought for access to public places both within and outside Black geographies.29 The push for spatial empowerment is not simply about mobility or the fostering of the “Black spatial imagery.” 30 Spatial empowerment for Black men was also about constituting and performing gender. As feminist geographers have demonstrated, public space is deeply gendered.31 But what does this gendered division of spatial access mean for Black men whose relationship to the public is contested? One of the ways Black men have responded to this paradox is by making Black communities the center of their spatial mobility, identity production, and resistance.32 Black men are not foreign or “out of place” in Black geographies. In the face of police harassment from within Black communities, Black men nevertheless reflect the norm.33 For white men, on the other hand, accessing public space functioned across location. Indeed, the historical reference to white men as explorers, frontiersmen, and travelers have given them the ability to inhabit space without opposition and make masculinity seemingly anywhere.34 Black men created space in opposition to this exclusion, yet Black men’s quest for spaces to be men has not always been productive. In some cases their desire to lay claim to the public in an attempt to access masculinity and resist racial and gender marginalization has produced actions of overcompensation and exclusion. The geography of hip-hop is an example.35 Seen as threats to the public, Black women and men used the geography of Black communities to create spaces for the cultivation and expression of hip-hop. However, Black men “sought to control the new geographies of resistance by attempting to exclude women” and sexual marginals.36 This “contradictory openness through exclusion” also marked the Blackstones’ creation of social space.37 In spite of trying to create a positive identity and sense of belonging, the social space the Stones fostered was essentially rooted in chaos. Because the social space they created was constituted within the politics of racist containment, tension, and ultimately violence, these elements became part of their social world. Given these conditions, “it should be no surprise that” Woodlawn produced “angry and alienated groups of armed young men.”38 And as other young Black males formed similar groups under the same forbidding racist circumstances, these Black urban simulacrums lethally clashed. Indeed, against the backdrop of containment, poverty, joblessness, and the state-sponsored destruction of Black radical movements, what bell hooks calls the “slaughter of radical black men,” the Stones grew stronger.39 Under these conditions the Stones were able to come together as a collective
7/2/15 2:45 PM
“sores in the cit y ” · 83
force to fend off challenges from other groups and even thrive under difficult sociospatial conditions. This had complex and contradictory outcomes; thriving in Woodlawn gave Stones access to the community—in particular the public space—in ways that non–gang-affiliated young men did not have. Existing as a part of a collective allowed the Stones to fend off bullies or challenges from other groups. But creating this dynamic required the use of force, particularly against other Black men. This is where the lethal element was introduced. As architects of social space, the Stones, like most gangs, tried to control and defend specific territory.40 By carving up neighborhoods and claiming certain spaces under their banner, gangs have used geography as a way to demarcate or organize territory. These lines of demarcation between gangs are akin to forms of state conflict. Despite a lack of economic or political control over the territory, groups like the Blackstone Rangers fought and died over real estate they did not own.
Stone Masculinity The original Stones were made from a pool of alienated, frustrated, idle young men who hung out on the streets between Sixty-Third and SixtyFourth Streets and Blackstone in Woodlawn. Fort was the leader of the crew. They often got into trouble: they fought other boys, were accused of stealing from local stores, and were suspected of snatching purses from women in the community. When they met up with “Bull” Hairston and his crew, they joined forces, and the Blackstone Rangers were born. It can be argued that these young boys were simply bad seeds. Some who knew Jeff Fort saw him this way, arguing that even from a young age he had demonstrated a tendency toward the nefarious. I do not disagree with this position; rather, I argue that the sociospatial conditions of Woodlawn compounded with an inability to access patriarchal power played a significant role in shaping the lives of these troubled young men. In an overcrowded, contained, and deeply impoverished world where most people lacked resources and the ability to exercise meaningful control over their lives, where joblessness was high and Black men could not “provide” in the patriarchal sense, personal articulations of agency in the form of toughness, fighting, working in the underground economy, or stealing from others provided access to resources and produced prestige and recognition as well as symbolic forms of power. This is not to say that Jeff Fort and his crew were not opportunists who exploited vulnerable people. But there was more to it than this. Fort responded to his environmental and gendered circumstances by performing deeply problematic notions
7/2/15 2:45 PM
84 . chap ter 4 of masculinity. In the process, he became an outlaw. However, at the same time, Fort was able to use the persona he created to protect himself from a world that was hostile and unkind. Sociospatial conditions produced the backdrop for the creation of Blackstone masculinity. As was the case in the Robert Taylor Homes and kitchenettes, Woodlawn’s containment gave rise to tension. As a result, Black men developed ways of performing gender in the public arena as a means of protecting themselves. This embodied gender performance is a consequence of containment and poverty. Like Richard Wright’s character Bigger Thomas, who responded to his feeling of containment with anger and violence, and Honk, who, within the Robert Taylor Homes, became unkind to others, the restrictive spatial politics of the Black Belt played a critical role in shaping how some Black men in Woodlawn understood and performed masculinity.41 But it was not the only factor. While containment and poverty raised tensions, Black men’s “patriarchal socialization,” which tells them that they must get a job, must provide for and protect their family, does much to move tension into violence.42 It does this because of the paradox into which Black masculinity is locked: while boys are socialized under this form of masculinity, most Black men cannot access them.43 The inability to access these culturally dominant narratives of masculinity against the backdrop of poverty and containment can make seemingly mundane objects like control of a street corner or a sign of disrespect cause for physical altercation. Black men’s bodies play a key role in this performance of masculinity. As the “original subject that constitutes spaces,” to use the philosopher Merleau-Ponty’s words, the body is the site where Black men perform masculinity.44 The body, therefore, stands in for or compensates for patriarchal power. In the social space of Woodlawn, amid geographic restrictions on housing, overcrowding, and rising crime rates, embodied performances of masculinity in the form of a tough exterior or macho performance was the predicate to performances of masculinity. Masculinity scholars see this tough exterior as a kind of “coping strategy,” 45 that made it possible for Black men in Woodlawn to access a characteristic of patriarchy that did not require material forms of power: toughness. Toughness became an organizing logic for the Blackstone Rangers. While not every member saw masculinity the same way, they nevertheless understood that toughness and a willingness to do harm to others if provoked were normative displays of Stone manhood. This performance of masculinity ultimately served to benefit the growth of the organization. Like the military, which uses culturally dominant ideas of masculinity—some of which are
7/2/15 2:45 PM
“sores in the cit y ” · 85
institutionalized (all boys in the United States must register with selective service at age eighteen) as a means of filling the ranks—the Blackstone Rangers were able to grow and become a strong organization through normalizing tough-guy masculinity. By the late 1960s the war over street territory between the Blackstone Rangers and the Disciples had spilled much blood on the streets of Woodlawn and Englewood, a mostly poor Black community east of Woodlawn. As a result, the police began to focus their attention on Black gangs. In 1967 the Chicago Police Department created the Gang Intelligence Unit (GIU), the first organized response to Black street gangs in Chicago, aimed at centralizing the decentralized response to gangs. Force was the primary tool of the GIU. They raided Stone hangouts, confiscated weapons, and arrested members. Their finances were examined. The state and federal governments indicted members and targeted leadership in an effort to bring down the organization.46 The unit felt justified in using these tactics in part because residents of Woodlawn urgently sought a reprieve from gang violence. Despite using tough tactics, the GIU was never able to ease the violence between gangs. What they did accomplish was to re-spatialize gang tensions from the street to correctional institutions. By the late 1960s and the early 1970s, the GIU had a hand in incarcerating numerous gang members as well as gang leaders, including Bull Hairston and Jeff Fort.
P. Stones and Prison Masculinity While the geography of containment provided the context for the emergence of the Stones and the gender performance rituals that informed the group, state incarceration altered again the performances of masculinity among the gang. With the aid of the GIU and the willingness of the State of Illinois to spend resources to incarcerate gang members, by the early 1970s Black gangs were a growing population in the state’s prisons.47 Jeff Fort and Bull Hairston were part of the wave of gang members incarcerated during this period. When they entered Stateville Penitentiary in Crest Hill, Illinois, hundreds of other gang members were awaiting them. The preoccupation with the rise of crime in the city government and state legislature buoyed the expansion of policing within parts of the Black Belt, swelling the state prison population. Prisons had a profound impact on gangs because they enabled gangs to recruit in much more effective ways than they could on the outside. Both the Blackstone Rangers and the Disciples used prison to boost their membership.48 They were able to do this because the conditions
7/2/15 2:45 PM
86 . chap ter 4 of prison—the violence, in particular—forced men to find avenues of safety. Gangs were key in this because membership could insulate individual prisoners from the violence of prison. But more than a fruitful recruiting ground, prisons provided gangs with new scripts for the performance of masculinity. Masculinity in prison—or prison masculinity—is a complex contradictory performance of masculinity within carceral institutions such as jails, prisons, and juvenile facilities.49 The single-sex environment and the mostly male prison staff “represents on the whole a more intense version of gender, or more accurately, of masculinity.”50 The intensity of gender performance in prison reinforces the gendered dynamic of prison. Prison masculinity, therefore, is a performance of masculinity that circulates within the brutal and hegemonic carceral setting. It is a function of the patriarchal logic of prison. In the United States, decades of congressional calls for harsher sentences (spurred by the “war on drugs”) made prisons into institutions where hegemonic masculinity reigned supreme.51 Prisons are not patriarchal by nature but rather were made that way through a series of policy moves. The patriarchy of the institution is demonstrated in its homosociality, sex segregation, hierarchy, and violence.52 As a result, prisons in the United States and elsewhere have become places where the will to hurt others, the celebration of toughness, subjugation, domination, hierarchy, and social control are part of the gender landscape.53 Moreover, and in spite of the closeted nature of prisons, the masculinities within them are not created in vacuums; they are an amalgamation of several masculinities that exist inside and outside of prison. The term “prison masculinity” is therefore an oversimplification. The fact is that a range of masculinities that come from multiple institutions, geographic locations, classes, sexualities, and racial backgrounds shapes masculinity in prison. Prisons are not “isolated institutions” where masculinities are formed,54 not factories where masculinities are created like clothing; prison is more like a gender hub where masculinities collide, mix, and mesh.
The Grammar of Man Violence, subjugation, domination, and toughness are not the only elements of prison masculinity. Love, friendship, loyalty, and intellectual engagement are also part of masculinity in carceral institutions.55 Personal transformation, indeed, is another part of prison masculinity, and for many Black prisoners religion has played a central role in this process. No other religion has had a larger impact on Black men in prison than Islam.56
7/2/15 2:45 PM
“sores in the cit y ” · 87
Black American Muslims and prison have a shared history. The founders of the most iconic Black Muslim sects were former prisoners: Nation of Islam’s founder Elijah Muhammad and the Five-Percent Nation’s founder Clarence 13X, for example.57 As early as the 1920s Islam has provided Black prisoners with spiritual awakening and consciousness raising.58 Islam’s influence on Black prisoners cannot be overstated. Countless Black men have converted to Islam while in prison, making Islam the official religion of Black mass incarceration.59 Indeed, since the 1960s, Islam has been a fixture in prison, which, because of mass incarceration, has profoundly influenced Black cultural and religious life outside prison walls. This is particularly the case with rap music, which came of age in the era of mass incarceration, resulting in the intertwining of Islam, prison, and rap music.60 This explains, for example, the high visibility of Muslim rappers (Rakim, Mos Def/Yasiin Bey, Lupe Fiasco, Q-Tip, Beanie Sigel, and Wise Intelligent), references to Islam in rap music, and the general presence of Islam within Black communities, be they Sunni, Nation of Islam, Moorish Temple of Science, or the Five-Percent Nation. But the question remains: Why Islam? Given the atrocious conditions of life in prison, the depression and isolation that accompany incarceration, and the state of people’s lives when they enter prison, Islam offers structure, discipline, community, intellectual development, political awareness, hope for a better life, and the possibly of redemption, a point illustrated in the prison letters of countless fathers, sons, uncles, brothers, boyfriends, and husbands. Beyond being a way to reform oneself, however, what is understudied is the role Islam has played in shaping the performance of Black masculinity. Malcolm X, for example, reinvented himself in prison, not simply through religious transformation or study but by adopting the codes, posture, ideology, and dress of Nation of Islam. I term this the grammar of masculinity. By casting off the shell of the hustler (which had its own distinct masculine grammar) and the hypermasculine persona he developed upon entering prison and then becoming a disciplined, restrained, articulate Black Muslim, Malcolm became a new man.61 Jeff Fort entered prison in 1972 and emerged in 1977. Like Malcolm, he emerged as a new man. He looked different. The skinny, shaven man who entered prison exited a bulked-up and bearded one. But more than a physical transformation, prison gave Fort a new way of being a man. While he was inside, Jeff Fort became a member of the Moorish Science Temple of America, an Islamic religious sect dedicated to the spiritual, economic, and social elevation of Black Americans.
7/2/15 2:45 PM
88 . chap ter 4 In 1913, Noble Drew Ali (born Timothy Jordan in 1886 in North Carolina) founded the Canaanite Temple. After moving to Chicago in the early 1920s the organization was renamed the Moorish Science Temple of America (MSTA). Between 1930 and 1950 the MSTA grew significantly. Prisons played a major role in its expansion. It had prison ministries throughout the Midwest and along the East Coast.62 Jeff Fort was introduced to the MSTA during his incarceration in the early 1970s and underwent a radical spiritual transformation under the guidance of the MSTA’s theology. Fort’s religious transformation caused him to reflect on the Stones. He became a devout man of faith, disciplined and intellectual. He sought to transform the organization by transforming himself. Therefore, he adopted a new form of dress that reflected his new religious life. Fort also adopted a new moniker: Chief Malic. Because he had been transformed, Fort wanted to extend the transformative elements of Islam to the Blackstones so that they, too, could become new men. Islam provided Fort with a new spiritual tool that he found useful in reorganizing the Stones. It put at his disposal an ironclad form of discipline he used to reformat how the men under his leadership understood and performed masculinity. Men in prison often perform a masculinity that is an exacerbated version of the way they enact masculinity on the outside. The gender hierarchy within prison reinforces acceptable ways of being male.63 Being a Muslim is one of the established gender performances within prison. This form of Black masculinity, which emphasized discipline, order, dutifulness, forthrightness, respect, and, above all, submission to Allah, became the new Stone masculinity Fort tried to instill in the men under his leadership. This differed significantly from Stone manhood that centered on protecting street territory and exuding toughness. The masculine performance of Black Muslims became synonymous with discipline and organization. Groups like Nation of Islam constructed masculinity in large part by demanding that members adhere to a hierarchy, similar to the military. They had guiding principles (no drinking in public, no drug use, being respectful of Black women), an ideology, uniforms, and daily practices.64 Permeating this order were performative scripts that spelled out a new vision of manhood. Organization was at the core of this script. This form of prison masculinity is different from the contemporary notions of manhood, in which individual toughness and hypermasculinity occupy the top spot in the hierarchy. This is not to say that dominant forms of masculinity, which emphasized toughness, violence, homophobia, and a will to do harm, were not part of prison’s gender hierarchy during 1970s; however,
7/2/15 2:45 PM
“sores in the cit y ” · 89
these forms of masculine bravado were often eclipsed by performances of masculinity that privileged duty, discipline, and submission to the group. Organizational strength was important to Black gangsters of the 1960s because of the civil rights movement. Coming of age during the rise of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), student sit-ins, the radicalization of the Black church, and the explosion of Black Power taught Fort that organization was not only a mechanism of exercising power but also a way of being male. The iconic statuses of men like Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, and Fred Hampton (leader of the Chicago branch of the Black Panther Party) signaled a new model of manhood. However, the format the Stones adopted did not mirror the civil rights movement but rather Chicago politics. Chicago’s machine-style politics is legendary; no other city has a form of politics like it. Its strength comes from its organized and tightly run network of political representatives who turn out votes within the city’s maze of wards, which are ethnically and racially distinct. From 1955 to 1976, Richard J. Daley—“the Democratic boss”—sat atop Chicago’s political machine. Daley not only used the machine’s power and influences to help elect John F. Kennedy, he also used it to help reorganize the racial and spatial landscape of the city by creating super-block public housing that contained Black people. Black gangs in general and the Blackstones in particular tried their best to copy the machine’s form. Though they were inspired by the political philosophy of the Black Panthers and the Black radical movement, on an organizational level they emulated Daley’s efforts.65 This machine-style organization, which proved to be useful for gaining strength on the streets, was even more vital in prison. It attracted followers because organizational strength proved useful in combating other gangs as well as for challenging the prison administration’s authority. While incarcerated, Jeff Fort used the machine system to close ranks. He also installed a top-down organizational structure that demanded discipline and unconditional loyalty. Islam featured prominently in this new organizational form, and Fort was able to use the discipline embedded in the religious practice in the service of building the Stones. Fort knew that in order to build the organization he would have to build a new kind of Blackstone Ranger, a new kind of man. Fort’s employment of Islam was influenced by the politics of the Nation of Islam (NOI). The NOI built their organization by transforming Black men who suffered from racism into respected, disciplined men. Malcolm X was the personification of this transformation. No other Muslim—not even the
7/2/15 2:45 PM
90 . chap ter 4 Honorable Elijah Muhammad, the NOI’s leader—personified this new man more than Malcolm. Entering prison as the hustler “Detroit Red” and exiting the preacher Malcolm X made him the model of transformation. And no one articulated this point better than Malcolm. The NOI, he claimed, transformed him from “caged animal” into a righteous minister and man of faith.66 Fort hoped to mirror these efforts. Following the NOI playbook, he imposed a tightly organized structure on the men around him. He called them the El Rukns. The El Rukns were essentially a secret society of men, handpicked by Fort. El Rukn is an Arabic term meaning “cornerstone” of the Islamic holy site Kaaba, which is the large, black, cuboid building Muslims circle seven times during the Hajj.67 Fort used them not only to carry out prison and street activities such as selling drugs and in some cases murder, but also to model for the rest of the organization what the new Stone masculinity looked like.68 The El Rukns were a central part of the performative script of 1970s prison masculinity. In Stateville Prison, which was thick with Blackstones, the tight organization Fort built became the syntax of prison masculinity, mandating obedience, discipline, truthfulness, and submission. These traits were mixed with the machine-style political organization. As they had done a decade before on the streets of Woodlawn, the Stones were remaking masculinity. And just as before, they were doing it within the context of containment, which helped the Blackstone Rangers to recruit members in prison. Although Black Muslim sects like the Nation of Islam grew in Illinois prisons, it was Black gangs that benefited to the greatest degree. Throughout the 1970s and ’80s, the prison system proved fertile recruiting ground for gangs.69 It is well within reason to speculate that some men joined organizations like the NOI or gangs not only for protection or solidarity but also as a result of the new language of masculinity they modeled.
Prison Masculinity for a New Era Fort’s strategies found a foothold in prison in the 1970s. There, he was able to create a small cadre of loyalists. However, installing this new form of Islam into the P. Stone Nation with men who had spent their lives as Blackstone Rangers outside the prison proved a difficult task. When Fort was released from prison in 1977 a crowd of Stones, eager to see their leader, cheered him. Nevertheless, his disciples found Islam a hard pill to swallow. Religion constituted part of the tension between Fort (now Chief Malic) and older Stones, because they saw themselves as Christians not Muslims. The biggest tension was the gender performance within Islam,
7/2/15 2:45 PM
“sores in the cit y ” · 91
which emphasized duty, submission, collectivity, and discipline. This performance contradicted the male persona fostered among 1960s gangsters. The tensions that shifting ideals of masculinity produced—largely couched in terms of ideology and leadership—splintered the organization. The tension between the El Rukns and the older Stones mirrors the generational shift from prison masculinity of the 1970s to prison masculinity in the period after 1980. Fort’s need for a larger sense of belonging, order, discipline, and ideology produced a performance of prison masculinity that was religious in nature. Fort’s performance of masculinity within prison, however, did not remain the dominant form. These ideals were supplanted by performances that reflected the social forces bringing a new generation of Black men to prison amid a transformation in public policy. This new cohort needed a different performance of masculinity, one that reflected the changing function of prison. Unlike Jeff Fort, these men entered prison against the backdrop of the draconian war on drugs, the most devastating form of social policy since slavery. From the early 1970s through the next thirty years, the United States declared and waged war against poor and working-class people of color, continuing the discursive construction of them as irrevocably doomed to crime while also producing the social relations that criminalize them.70 Though President Nixon coined the term in 1971, the war against drugs will be a century old by the time this book is published. In that time, many lives have been unnecessarily lost to what one scholar calls America’s crusade, our “Holy War.”71 Between 1914, when the first piece of antidrug legislation was passed, until the early 1970s, illicit drugs shifted from a being a benign source of personal indulgence into a major political topic that captivated the nation, spurring the creation of a mega-industry built on pure punishment. Nixon’s declaration rapidly accelerated the diversion of public funds into the punishment industry. On the heels of the 1968 Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act, the Nixon administration passed the 1970 Comprehensive Drug Abuse and Prevention Control Act. This act set off a chain reaction that used the power of the state to punish poor Blacks and Latinos in urban centers around the nation. Several other federal laws in the same vein followed, including the 1984 Comprehensive Crime Control Act, which established mandatory minimum sentencing for carrying a gun during drug or violent crimes; the Sentencing Reform Act which effectively phased out the federal parole system; the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986 that allowed Congress to establish mandatory minimum sentencing for illegal drug use; the 1988 Omnibus Anti–Drug Abuse Act that created mandatory minimum sentences
7/2/15 2:45 PM
92 . chap ter 4 for possession and distribution of crack cocaine, while powdered cocaine remained a misdemeanor; and the 1994 Federal Crime Bill that required states to mandate that 85 percent of a prisoner’s term be served in order for states to qualify for federal funding to be used toward crime. This list does not include the numerous state acts adopted during the period, such as the Rockefeller drug laws of 1973 or the 1994 three-strikes laws in California, which stiffened already stringent federal law,72 not to mention the copious judicial acts that greatly expanded the power of state prosecutors and judges to inflict more punishment on those swept up in ravenous antidrug crusades. All the funding and the judicial acts and sentencing laws were enabled in large part by the explosion of police power. Policing during the early 1980s radically transformed the tone and tenor of the drug war. Under the Regan administration, police gained unprecedented power, which they used for waging war. This fact is demonstrated most ardently by drug convictions. Since 1980, the number of people convicted on drug charges has increased by 1,100 percent.73 Drug convictions account for a significant number—more than half between 1980 and 2000—of those incarcerated.74 More than 31 million people have been arrested since the start of the drug war.75 At the beginning of the current crusade in 1972, the Supreme Court granted police the powers that undermine constitutional protections, such as the right not to be subject to illegal search and seizure. Police are now able to utilize race as a criterion for stopping citizens to search for drugs. Federal and state funds have enabled the militarization of police forces while also giving them the ability to seize cash and other assets found while waging war on drugs. Men who entered prison during the drug-war era had a different experience with the tropes of masculinity they experienced behind bars. By the middle to late 1980s, the model of masculinity-as-organizational-tactic faded. The new prison masculinity extolled the virtues of individual toughness, personal strength, the will to hurt others (if necessary), and individual over collective strength. Moreover, the landscape—that is to say, the place on which this new form of masculinity was expressed—also changed. For this new generation of incarcerated men, the body was the site for the expression of masculinity. Large muscles, hard stares, and imposing postures became the hallmarks of prison manhood. This was in contrast to the period of the 1970s. While the body was a site where men of that period articulated their masculinity, it was not hegemonic. Rather, it was a location—a site of expression—not a mechanism. Prison masculinity in the 1980s however, made the body the primary tool of expression, and men communicated masculinity via the syntax of the body.
7/2/15 2:45 PM
“sores in the cit y ” · 93
What facilitated the change from prison-masculinity-as-organization to one of toughness expressed through a single body? The police crackdown and the ethos of crime fighting, spearheaded by the Gang Intelligence Unit, brought the P. Stone Rangers and other Black gangs in Chicago into prison during the late 1960s and early 1970s—foregrounded in large part against the backdrop of politics. The P. Stones saw themselves as part of a larger political reality of the Black freedom movement. They identified with Black Nationalism and even attempted to forge an alliance with the Black Panther Party.76 As these gangs came to prison, this political context followed them. However, for the next generation of Black men who entered prison in the late 1970s and early 1980s, the political context of the 1960s was a distant memory. Black men did not enter prison with the kind of political framework that Jeff Fort and the Blackstone Rangers were conscious of. For these prisoners, there was no political organizing in prison and no Attica. Even the prison social system that emphasized collective organizing among gang members began to loosen and fray, and there was no organized structure in place to latch onto. This had two distinct consequences: On the one hand, this absence disrupted the organizing efforts prisoners created in the early and mid-1970s. On the other hand, it decentered organization as the hegemonic form of masculinity, creating a vacuum at the top of the prison gender hierarchy.
Embodied Performance The rise of this new form of prison masculinity against the backdrop of public policy changes, the war on drugs, and growing incarceration rates influenced the performances of masculinity in Black Chicago. The large numbers of prisoners who returned to Chicago after their prison terms, particularly on the South Side, brought these new ideas about masculinity with them from prison in ways that had not existed during the 1970s. Massive waves of incarceration made possible by domestic warfare that affected South Side neighborhoods, mixed with the entrenchment of carceral power, created a sociospatial context that helped circulate prison masculinities into the broader social space of Black Chicago. No longer contained in the Black Belt, housing projects, Woodlawn, or prisons, Black men in different parts of the city adopted these modes of expressing their masculinity. Recently, scholars in both the humanities and social sciences have begun to think about the relationship between prison masculinity and Black masculinity. Focusing on the role institutions play in gender construction—what some scholars term “collateral civil penalties”—new scholarship highlights the influence the criminal justice system has and continues to exert in informing
7/2/15 2:45 PM
94 . chap ter 4 conceptualizations and expressions of modern manhood.77 Much of the focus is on poor and working-class men of color who, often as a result of structural, social, economic, and geographic forces, find themselves in the carceral institutions’ grasp, making the prison the catchall institution for society’s poor, stigmatized, and most marginalized. More than any other group, the hip-hop generation was profoundly affected by mass incarceration. Born between 1965 and 1984, they have a relationship to prison and carceral power that is more distinct than that of any generation of Black people in American history. The sheer number of people from this generation who have experienced incarceration is astronomical. For example, since 1972, the prison population has grown 500 percent, prompting states and the federal government between 1985 and 2000 to open new prisons every week. The majority of those incarcerated have been Black men.78 While these numbers narrate the scale of the hip-hop generation’s relationship to punishment, they do not tell us everything. In fact, the data obscure the insidious ways prison has affected and continues to affect Black men. We can better see the impact of prison on this generation of Black men by discerning how prison informed their performance of masculinity. Patricia Hill Collins uses the phrase “urban prisoners” to draw attention to how the social life of Black people living under segregation, policing, and persistent poverty has informed their sense of community (or lack thereof). Her analysis adroitly captures the implications of decades of carceral punishment, poverty, and segregation that gave rise to the phenomenon of mass incarceration, arguing that this environment created social relations among residents that “resemble those of people living in prison.”79 Following Collins’s lead, Teresa A. Miller goes one step further to argue that the rapid expansion of the carceral state vis-à-vis the war on drugs has given rise to a “burgeoning prison population [that] intensified a particular expression of masculinity predicated on sexual violence, racial antagonism, predation, and misogyny.”80 Collins and Miller’s work on Black masculinity and prison has done much to advance our thinking about carceral power’s effects and has helped to bridge the gap between the study of gender, blackness, and geography, which gender studies scholar Katherine McKittrick sees as “critical categories of social and spatial struggle.”81 Drawing on a Black feminist perspective, Collins and Miller recognize that gender and how we “do” it is partly informed by institutions. Gender is not an isolated, independent function; we do not construct and perform gender in a vacuum. Gender is a social function that comes into being through historical, discursive, and institutional forms.82 These forms in turn manifest themselves on the body, which means that we
7/2/15 2:45 PM
“sores in the cit y ” · 95
must, as Elizabeth Grosz suggests, “[question] how the subject’s exteriority is physically constructed.”83 Using precisely these analytical tools to answer the question of why forms of prison masculinity are so prominently on display in Black communities yields useful insight—at least in the beginning. Rightly, Collins and Miller highlight the ways in which prison masculinity has become an attractive gender performance for many Black men, in spite its misogyny, celebration of violence, and homophobia. They are also correct in their assessment that mass incarceration of Blacks has created collateral damages—economic, emotional, health, cultural, and psychological—that significantly affect Black men, inflict damage on Black women and children, and have profound consequences for Black communities as a whole. However, the link they draw between prison masculinity and performances of Black masculinity requires further consideration. Their studies assume that Black men wholeheartedly adopted prison masculinity. But this is not the case. Black men have not taken on all aspects of prison masculinity; instead they appropriated the physical aspects, particularly those that embodied power, toughness, and authority. These were things like hard stares, large muscles, an imposing posture, and even clothing. Elements of prison masculinity, such as fluid sexual practices, however, remained a prison phenomenon (at least publicly). This selectively embodied performance of prison masculinity became central to the performative script of Black masculinity outside prison during the late twentieth century. These performances dominated representations of Black masculinity in rap music and Black film from the early 1990s until well into the twenty-first century. In this respect, Black men in the hip-hop generation have transferred the performance of prison masculinity onto the contours of the body. Here, the body takes the place of discipline, duty, and obedience. Black men’s performance of prison masculinity is a complex appropriation that is conveyed mostly through style and embodied performance. What seems to be a total embrace of prison masculinity is really a broken, contradictory, shifting, and paradoxical arch.
Conclusion When Jeff Fort was sent to federal prison in 1988 on a charge of domestic terrorism, the Stones fractured.84 By incarcerating him, the state was able to place a tourniquet on his illegal activities. It also left a hole in the organizations’ leadership. Building on the fissures that emerged during the El Rukn era, without a head, the body of the organization went in different directions.
7/2/15 2:45 PM
96 . chap ter 4 The neighborhood crews that existed under the Blackstone banner decades earlier were reenergized in the 1990s. These new factions had local heads and claimed territory at the level of the street corner. Hundreds of crewmembers carved the city up block by block. And as the crack economy rose, providing the individual crews of young men with cash, beefs over drug real estate inflamed tensions even more. Because the prison and the streets were locked in a dialectical exchange that was constituted through the deployment of the mechanisms of carceral power, these places became zones of masculine performance where individual toughness was constituted through embodied performances of prison manhood. This performance of masculinity has played a central role in Chicago’s high murder rate, which skyrocketed in the early 1990s. Between 1990 and 1995 the rate hovered at 900 murders per year; 2012 recorded 506. Poverty, a failed education system, and the dismantling of the city’s housing projects—which dispersed gangs throughout the city—spread poverty and carceral power horizontally. The long history of housing restriction and the loss of industrial jobs are explanations that help us to understand Chicago’s outgrowth of violence. Often left out of the picture, however, is gender. The violence on Chicago’s streets is a gendered problem. Not only are men killing primarily other men, but many of the killings are also gang/crew related, or they emerge out of mundane interpersonal exchanges. This was the gendered logic that Robert “Yummy” Sandifer was raised under. Amid gang conflict, Sandifer took sides in the street wars, deciding to be a user of force rather than a victim of it. His murder of fourteen-yearold Shavon Dean underscores the painful and tragic collateral damage that mass incarceration produces. Jeff Fort and “Yummy” are separated only by time. Sandifer was born in 1983, after Fort returned to prison. The two belonged to rival gangs that spent years locked in conflict and came from different neighborhoods, Woodlawn and Roseland, respectively. But the lives of these two men from Chicago’s South Side are inextricably linked by gender performance made possible by state sponsored sociospatial containment. Their performances of masculinity, though fractured, are part of a syntax that carceral power informed.
7/2/15 2:45 PM
5 Ghost Mapping The Geography of Risk in Black Chicago It is clear that HIV/AIDS is a serious problem among adult correctional inmates and an incipient problem among confined juveniles. Adult prisons and jails and juvenile facilities contain probably the highest concentrations of persons already infected with HIV and individuals with sexual and drug-use related risk factors for HIV to be found anywhere in American society. —Ronald Braithwaite, Theodore Hammett, and Robert Mayberry, Prisons and AIDS Ever since he observed the Killingsworth mining outbreak as a young apprentice, [Dr.] Snow had long known that epidemics tended to afflict the lower orders of society. For whatever reason—probably some mix of rational observation and his own social awareness—that disparity led Snow to seek external causes, not internal ones. The poor were dying in disproportionate numbers not because they suffered from moral failings. They were dying because they were being poisoned. —Steven Johnson, The Ghost Map
Mapping Black Chicago’s AIDS Epidemic In November 1984, twenty-six-year-old Lester Wall was the first prisoner in the Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) to die of AIDS. Wall was incarcerated earlier that year on burglary charges. He spent part of the year in the Cook County Jail; he was then transferred to a correctional facility in Joliet, Illinois, on April 3, where he was “screened and classified.”1 After a
7/2/15 2:45 PM
98 . chap ter 5 short stay at Joliet, Wall was assigned to the Centralia Correctional Center in May. In September, he was transferred again to the Menard Correctional Facility. According to Nic Howell, a spokesman for the Illinois Department of Corrections, Wall most likely entered the prison system with the disease. Immediately after his death, the IDOC began checking to see if the disease was passed on to other prisoners. By 1987 four more people had died of AIDS in the states’ prisons. The fifth fatality was the first to involve a woman and the eighth documented case in the IDOC since 1984. She was forty-one years old. According to the IDOC medical director, the deceased most likely entered prison with the disease and was probably infected intravenously. The second to die was a thirtyfour-year-old man in the Stateville Penitentiary; the third (and youngest), a twenty-two-year-old man at the Centralia Correctional Center; the fourth, a thirty-year-old man from the Danville Correctional Center. The medical director believed this man might have been infected while in prison, possibly through tattooing.2 These cases represent the complex reality of HIV/AIDS, race, and location. Each of these deaths is a commentary on the ways HIV/AIDS, race, and space work together to create risk, which negatively affected Black Chicago. Few records exist to tell us more about the expired prisoners. Data on HIV/ AIDS is difficult to ascertain in large part because of the stigma attached to the disease. Nevertheless, information can be gleaned about them. Lester Wall was from Chicago: this is important because Chicago was the largest feeder of the state prison system since the early 1970s, owing in large part to the expansion of the carceral state and the war on drugs in the city.3 The fifth prisoner to die from the disease was also from Chicago. Though no information about the other three prisoners is available, given that Chicago was the main feeder of prisoners and also given that in the early years of the disease Chicago was ground zero for its spread, it is likely that most of the five incarcerated persons to die of AIDS-related illness also hailed from Chicago. This fifth and final chapter maps HIV/AIDS in Black Chicago. I examine the impact of high rates of incarceration and HIV/AIDS on Black Chicago. I argue that carceral power in the form of mass incarceration, which swept these five individuals into prison before their death from the disease, profoundly shaped Black Chicagoan’s relationship to HIV/AIDS by creating a geography of risk—the sociospatial production of HIV infection. Though HIV/AIDS could affect anyone, the risk was higher in Black Chicago as a result of geographic (segregation and the war on drugs) and structural forces (mass incarceration,
7/2/15 2:45 PM
ghost mapping · 99
premature death, lack of healthcare, and politics) that weighed heaviest on Black neighborhoods. The geography of risk emerged through public policies and political decisions, not internal moral failings. These structural dynamics that produced state violence, what Adam M. Geary terms “state intimacies,” encouraged the mass incarceration of Black Chicagoans, some of whom were addicts who carried the disease.4 This put other prisoners at risk for acquiring the disease. We saw the consequences of this in the kitchenette, the confined spaces which encouraged the spread of disease. Carceral power enabled that confinement through policing and restrictive covenants. This spatial and historical precedent repeats itself in the prison in the early 1980s. The risk of transmission of HIV is fourteen times higher in prison.5 Diseases like small spaces, and the confined space of Illinois prisons encouraged transmission. This was compounded by vexing political realities the returning prisoners faced at home. The inability of Black political institutions to respond to the HIV/AIDS crisis, the large number of prisoners released into Black Chicago, and the stigma and lack of healthcare access among Blacks created a geography of risk for much of the Black community. Drugs, increasing rates of poverty brought on by global economic shifts, and segregation gave HIV/AIDS a susceptible host—Black Chicago. Prisons did not create HIV/AIDS; instead, they exacerbated the epidemic by providing a safe place for the disease to incubate, to remain untreated, and in some cases to spread among the prison population. Indeed, carceral power was the glue that held the geography of risk together. Prison also expanded the risk potential for infection within the communities these prisoners returned to, as many parolees reentered their communities HIV-positive (and with a high viral load) and unknowingly passed the virus on to their partners and to others through high-risk transmission practices—intravenous drug use and/or unprotected sex. Because Blacks have sex within spatially defined areas, what Laumann et al. term “sexual markets,” the levels of risk for HIV infection were expanded because returning prisoners were having sex with people within their immediate neighborhood.6 As a result, they contributed to the expanding rates of the disease in Black Chicago by acquiring it and then passing it on to others. Both of these factors have contributed much to expanding rates of HIV/AIDS among Black women in Chicago.7
Dr. Snow’s Ghost Map In 1854 cholera swept through London for a second time in five years. Thousands died. The city was in a panic, and no one could explain the source of
7/2/15 2:45 PM
100 . chap ter 5 the epidemic. The dominant theory was that the disease was passed through the air.8 This was the fearful reality until a pioneering physician discovered the disease’s source. Dr. John Snow is seen by many as the progenitor of descriptive epidemiology—the scientific study of the factors that influence the distribution of disease. Using a series of maps, Snow discovered the source of the pathogen and how it spread. Working from a theory he developed—that cholera spread through food or the water system—Snow reasoned that there must be some kind of instrument or pathway responsible for its transmission, and he suspected that the water system might be the culprit because of the spatial concentration of neighborhood deaths. Few records were kept at that time about the deceased, particularly where they ate and drank. Interviews were impossible, since most who suffered from the disease were dead. Therefore, Snow began to collect any and all information about the deceased in the hope that he could find a pattern to crack the cholera code. His approach was revolutionary: collect information about cholera cases and match them with information about the water supply. His discovery forever changed the face of public health and medicine. He found that the Golden Square neighborhood—a poverty-stricken slum packed to the seams with residents—was at the epicenter of the outbreak. Through reading death records from local churches, Snow gained descriptive information about the deceased—age, gender, and (most important) home address. This information told him where they had received their water. In 1849, during the first cholera outbreak, Snow discovered that the water companies that supplied water to residents used the Thames River for their supply. Snow also knew which water companies had intake pipes near where sewage had entered the river. The pipes from these companies carried polluted water from the river to the public water supply. This water was then pumped to different communities. By noting the location of the pump and the addresses of the dead, Snow was able to map the Cholera outbreak within the small Golden Square community, which had more than five hundred deaths in two months.9 After Snow discovered that water was the primary source of the outbreak, his map was the most effective way to test his hypothesis,10 and enable him eventually to demonstrate exactly which water pump spewed the contaminated water. Snow’s “Ghost Map”—which documented not only the passage of human waste but also the “souls” of those living with and slowly dying from cholera— found the source of the epidemic and revolutionized medicine by giving rise to modern epidemiology and “epidemiological methods of reasoning.”11 But
7/2/15 2:45 PM
ghost mapping · 101
more than that, Snow’s map illustrated how the lives of the poor and marginalized were put at risk. The sewage pipes that contaminated the drinking water of the city’s poor were also representative of the way marginality was mapped onto the people of the Golden Square neighborhood. I draw on this way of mapping the social and structural oppression of Blacks in Chicago from 1980 through the subsequent twenty-five-plus years. I also look to Snow’s methods of reasoning, using variables like time, people, and location to understand and ultimately to “ghost map” the increased risk of exposure to HIV/AIDS in Black Chicago. My ghost map of HIV/AIDS adapts Snow’s methods by examining how the risk of acquiring HIV was exacerbated and by identifying what the “intake pipes” and “pumps” were. As was the case with cholera, the spread of HIV was a manmade epidemic that affected Black Chicago through structural forces. Instead of faulty intake pipes bringing disease into the community, public policy in the form of mass incarceration enlarged the disease’s grasp.
The HIV/AIDS Crisis in Black Chicago Describing HIV/AIDS in Black Chicago as a crisis is not an example of creative license; it is an unfortunate fact of Black life in the city. By the beginning of the twenty-first century, HIV/AIDS had significant impact on Black Chicago. For example, Blacks accounted for only 14 percent of the state’s population but made up half of the infections—nearly eight times the infection rate of whites.12 Black men who have sex with men made up the overwhelming number of new infections (nearly two-thirds). However, Black women infected through heterosexual contact with Black men and injection drug use accounted for one-third.13 The rate of HIV infection for Blacks in the state was an astounding 73.8 per 100,000 in 2009. By way of comparison, the rate of infection for whites in that same year was 24.7 per 100,000.14 Substandard health care and barriers to treatment made HIV a near death sentence.15 Between 2000 and 2010, 3,757 Black Chicagoans died of AIDSrelated illness, compared with 1,468 white deaths from AIDS.16 The geography of HIV/AIDS is firmly rooted in the Black community. Blacks on the South Side and West Side have high rates of infection. What caused this? Correctional institutions played an important role in the expansion of the disease. Prisons and jails are crowded spaces isolated from the general public with a constantly changing population. Mix in stress, poverty, violence, drug use, and high-risk sexual activity, and it is easy to see why jails and prisons are prime sites for the disease to flourish, undetected.
7/2/15 2:45 PM
102 . chap ter 5 Geographers have argued that spaces, particularly confined spaces, significantly influence the transmission of disease.17 The geography of carceral institutions provides little mobility, has few windows and poor ventilation, encourages tension, has questionable sanitation, and crams people together into tight spaces. Space in this context is not marginal but rather a “dynamic actor.”18 Drawing on this thinking, it seems that prisons did two things with respect to HIV/AIDS: on the one hand, correctional institutions were a refuge, enabling the disease go undetected for years; on the other hand, they were a nexus point, bringing vulnerable bodies in close contact with the disease. Ultimately, prisons were pathogenic appendages that removed and recirculated the disease. With infection rates as high as fourteen times that on the outside,19 correctional institutions have become a “synergy of plagues,” where HIV, tuberculosis, and drugs combined to create a “lethal ecology” that wreaked havoc on communities of color across the nation.20 Because the geography of HIV/AIDS and the geography of incarceration are mapped onto one another, the zip codes where HIV/AIDS are highest have corresponding high rates of incarceration.21 This is not a coincidence; rather it is an illustration of the structural link between confinement and disease, a link that has plagued prisons since the turn of the twentieth century.22
HIV/AIDS and the War on Drugs The five deceased prisoners who opened this chapter not only anchor the story of HIV/AIDS and carceral power, they also “haunt” the text.23 The violence that surrounded their lives was a product of the war on drugs. Lester Wall and others entered IDOC as casualties. This is illustrated by the period (late 1970s and early 1980s) and the political context (the rise of the carceral states), which imprisoned those involved in the drug trade—addicts and petty criminals like Wall. It is demonstrated by the location where the majority of prisoners came from (Chicago) and the geography of the epidemic (Black Chicago). Nothing encouraged the Black AIDS epidemic more than the war on drugs.24 According to scholarship by HIV/AIDS researchers Blankenship et al., “High rates of exposure to the corrections system (including incarceration, probation, and parole) spurred in large part by . . . [the] “war on drugs” . . . have disproportionately affected African Americans” by increasing their risk of HIV infection.25 HIV/AIDS entered carceral institutions in the early 1980s amid Reagan’s drug war.26 Fought on Black geographies throughout
7/2/15 2:45 PM
ghost mapping · 103
the nation, the war on drugs disproportionally affected Blacks in general and Black men in particular.27 For example, between 1985 and 2000, drug offences accounted for more than half the state prison population and two-thirds of the federal incarcerated population.28 Half of the people in prison by 2010 (about 1.5 million) were incarcerated for drugs, compared with only 41,000 in 1980.29 This deployment of carceral power onto Black geographies created unprecedented incarceration rates that have disproportionally affected Black men. In 1984, for instance, 1 out of every 30 Black men was incarcerated. In 1997, the ratio was 1 out of every 15.30 The drug war’s consequences were so devastating that by 2001 a Black boy had a 32 percent chance of being incarcerated in his lifetime.31 These statistics illustrate both the scale of Black mass incarceration and the lopsided racial disparities of policing and prosecution. As Black men entered prisons in large numbers, HIV/AIDS followed. While we know little about these early cases, what is known is that they were most likely intravenous drug users (IDU) who had acquired the disease through needle sharing.32 The migration of HIV/AIDS into prison was an explicit consequence of the war on drugs that gave the courts new powers to arrest, prosecute, and lock up sellers and drug addicts. The war on drugs was the “intake pipe” that moved HIV/AIDS from the street to the prison. The war on drugs contributed to the HIV/AIDS epidemic in three ways: creating an environment of risk inside prison; disrupting interpersonal relationships through mass incarceration; and providing the disease with a series of closed and isolated spaces where it could grow unchecked. the geogr aphy of risk in prison
Research shows that the loss of Black men from their community has disrupted the male/female ratio in ways that exacerbated sexually transmitted diseases like HIV.33 For instance, between 1990 and 1999 (the only period for which information was available), for every 100,000 residents in Chicago, the city had an average of more than 500 people affected with gonorrhea.34 During that same period Chicago also had an explosion of HIV infection: in 1990 there were 790 cases; in 1991, 1,115 cases; and in 1992, 1993, and 1994, there were 2,011, 2,071, and 1,438 cases, respectively.35 In 1993 there were 177 HIV/AIDS-related deaths in Illinois state prisons. In that same year, and for the first time ever, deaths from HIV/AIDS surpassed the number of deaths from murder, suicide, heart attacks, and cancer. In 1994 the Illinois Department of Corrections had 119 prisoners diagnosed with AIDS and another 468 HIV-positive. During this same period, Black people constituted 65 percent
7/2/15 2:45 PM
104 . chap ter 5 of the prison population, which means that the majority of AIDS deaths were Black.36 These numbers illustrate that as Black men entered state correctional facilities, rates of HIV/AIDS also increased. These sexually transmitted diseases expanded in part through prisons’ geography of risk, which banned the use and distribution of condoms. According to Blankenship et al., sex among prisoners is not uncommon.37 And policies that deny prisoners the ability to practice safe sex encourage transmission. Tattooing also puts prisoners at risk (such was the case for the prisoner who died of AIDS-related disease in Danville Correctional Center). Tattooing equipment in prison is unsanitary and shared among various people.38 As well, for intravenous drug users, needle sharing with other prisoners is common. These needles are rarely cleaned and can easily harbor pathogens.39 Sex between men (consensual and nonconsensual), needle sharing, and tattooing are the primary risk factors for the spread of the disease in prison.40 These factors produce risk because most state and federal prisons, as well as jails and juvenile facilities, ban condoms, making safe sex in prison impossible, and also ban the distribution of clean needles. Despite the low numbers of transmissions in prison through needles, the practice of sharing needles in prison is significantly more risky.41 Currently, no prisons in the United States provide prisoners with clean needles—based on the belief that needle exchange (both in prison and outside) placates addicts. This position contrasts with research that demonstrates needle exchange programs do, in fact, help control the spread of HIV.42 Prison officials do not allow even the use of bleach to clean dirty needles, a method proven to reduce rates of infection significantly between those who share needles.43 Finally, the lack of testing encourages risk. The IDOC does not have mandatory testing for the disease: HIV can only be discovered when, according to Howard Peters, director of the IDOC, “the prisoner shows symptoms of the disease or when it is detected through a health screening.”44 The institution’s role as a “high-risk setting for the transmission of HIV/AIDS [is] due to both the prevalence of HIV among inmate populations and the high-risk activities that occur inside the prison walls.”45 In 1988, the CDC tested 2,392 prisoners in an Illinois prison (Joliet) for HIV. The test revealed that 4 percent of the prisoners were HIV-positive. One year later, the same prisoners were retested: seven prisoners who originally tested negative were found to be HIV-positive. These prisoners acquired the disease while in prison.46 This raised concerns not only about the health of the prison population and the staff but also for the communities these men returned to (I will return to this point later in the chapter).
7/2/15 2:45 PM
ghost mapping · 105
If the war on drugs and police were the intake pipes that circulated disease within prisons, the IDOC was the “pump” that recirculated the plague back into Black Chicago. Understandably, the migration of HIV/AIDS from prison into the Black community was not at the forefront of the IDOC’s concern. Instead, the IDOC focused on the health and safety of prisoners and staff. When news of the deaths hit the airways, though, it sent panic through the IDOC as well as the state legislature. Concerns about the possibility of other prisoners and staff becoming infected were openly discussed.47 The state legislature even proposed segregating prisoners known and suspected of carrying the disease.48 Measures such as these obfuscated the real structural issue of healthcare access, poverty, and racism in favor of containment strategies that seldom work. Yet despite the concern for the prisoners and the prison staff, the people most affected by HIV/AIDS in prison were Black Chicagoans. With a disproportionate number of residents entering and leaving prison since the mid-1970s, due in large part to the war on drugs, prisons were not just holding facilities; they were also appendages that facilitated the movement of pathogens into the Black community. During the early years (up until the early 1990s), HIV/AIDS was primarily seen as a gay disease, and many people outside the gay community saw themselves as immune. This was a grave miscalculation. While HIV/AIDS was devastating gay comminutes across the nation, it was quietly entering Black America. Sex between men was one of the primary ways men were being infected, but it was not the only avenue. 49 Intravenous drug use played a major role in the Black AIDS epidemic. Research shows that Blacks were disproportionately affected by intravenous HIV infection.50 Between 1980 and 1989, for example, 318 Black intravenous drug users died of AIDS-related illnesses in Chicago.51 Between 1990 and 1999 that number exploded to 2,379.52 Because Black Chicagoans and Black communities were the focus of the drug war, their use of intravenous drugs not only put them at risk for HIV, but it also put them at risk for incarceration. The spatial distributions of drug arrests overlay the entrenched segregation that marked the city during the twentieth century. Despite the fact that Blacks and whites use drugs at nearly identical rates, Black Chicagoans were arrested for drug violations in much higher proportions than whites.53 Whites seldom saw felony drug charges, even when they were repeat offenders.54 Drug arrests were overwhelmingly concentrated on the West and South Sides of the city, where Black people lived. For instance, between 1980 and 1998 drug arrests in Cook County (home of Chicago) grew from 30,000 to
7/2/15 2:45 PM
106 . chap ter 5 100,000 annually.55 This went a long way toward Blacks’ making up 65 percent of the state’s prison population.56 As a result, by 2000 the top fifteen zip codes for prisoners released—a staggering 71 percent of Chicago’s parolees—came from the South and West Sides of the city.57 These striking figures, to use Michelle Wallace’s formulation, tell us much about the “new Jim Crow” that affects Black communities,58 and also illuminate the cross-pollination between HIV/AIDS and prison. Swept up in the war on drugs, Black Chicagoans, particularly those with addictions to intravenous drugs, brought the disease into the prison system. This migration had severe consequences on both the prison system and on Black Chicago. As was the case for Lester Wall and the four other victims—one of which contracted the disease in prison—being in prison with HIV/AIDS meant death. Consider these numbers: between 1985 and 1990, the number of deaths from AIDS-related illness in prisons grew from 8,000 to 94,375 nationally.59 By 1994, AIDS was the leading cause of death in the IDOC.60 Between 1984 when, Lester Wall was diagnosed with the disease, and 1993, 177 new cases were diagnosed in IDOC.61 In 1993 alone, the disease claimed the lives of twenty-three prisoners.62 The rate of death for prisoners was much higher than it was for those outside prison. In 1992, AIDS was the eleventh leading cause of death in the state, with one death for every one hundred people;63 in prison, the disease caused one out of every four deaths.64 hiv/aids and the “coercive mobilit y” of bl ack men
In this chapters’ epigraph, Braithwaite, Hammett, and Mayberry argue that the large number of prisoners who return home from correctional institutions can facilitate the spread of HIV/AIDS within their communities if high-risk practices persist. The revolving door between Black Chicago and the IDOC is an example of what sociologist Todd Clear calls “coercive mobility,” where sizable portions of the population cycle between the community and prison. In the process of this back-and-forth, the community becomes destabilized and disorganized.65 Some Black communities in Chicago experience this corrosive mobility on a large scale. Each year, Illinois releases 35,000 prisoners from its state institutions (the figure is 700,000 nationally66). More than 60 percent return to just fifteen zip codes located on the West and South Sides of Chicago.67 While much of Black Chicago is affected by the burden of coercive mobility, the heaviest portion falls on particular communities. The staggering absence of Black men from the these communities leaves stranded family
7/2/15 2:45 PM
ghost mapping · 107
members, broken social networks, truncated social capital, and financial hardship, which ultimately disrupt the communities’ organization and stability.68 Indeed, mass incarceration has “woven prison into the fabric of these communities” to such a degree that it not only facilitates the disappearance of people, but it also leaves severed ties that undermine the social fabric of the entire community.69 It is not only the men’s departure that destabilizes these communities; it is also their return. Studies have shown that returning prisoners have lower job prospects, are not as skilled, either do not vote or are barred from voting, may have psychological wounds, feel isolated, can be withdrawn from others, experience anger issues, and have poor health.70 HIV/AIDS undeniably complicates the “residential instability” of returning prisoners.71 According to the report by the HIV/AIDS Policy Research Institute, many returning prisoners continue high-risk transmission activities, such as engaging in intravenous drug use and not using condoms.72 The effects of these practices are compounded by lack of health coverage and the stigma surrounding HIV, which shut down discussions about the disease within many Black communities. As a result, many returning prisoners are in what the imprisoned intellectual Dave Gilbert termed “a whirlpool of risk” for HIV infection.73 Geographer Susan Craddock writes that disease plays a “critical role in the production of place as lived, seen (built), and cognitively mapped,” a point that Richard Wright also argued in his analysis of kitchenettes.74 Tuberculosis embedded itself in kitchenettes and subsequently inserted itself into the bodies of Black migrants. Because tuberculosis spread largely through individual kitchenette buildings, the scale upon which it existed was relatively small, unlike that of HIV/AIDS today. Tuberculosis attached itself to particular buildings, but there was no one locus for the spread of the disease. Those not living in kitchenettes in the Black Belt were not at risk as those living in the kitchenettes were. While these diseases are different and the epidemics happened at different historical moments, what holds true for both is the way location and disease collaborate to unevenly affect Black Chicagoans. The expansion of carceral power throughout the Black Belt, indeed far beyond the scale of individual buildings as was the case with tuberculosis, helped to scale up the HIV/AIDS transmission, putting more people at risk. The rapid expansion of HIV-positive Black women in Chicago in the past fifteen years is a salient demonstration of the coercive form of mobility mass incarceration produced regarding HIV/AIDS. Men constitute the majority of people in the IDOC population—90 percent.75 They are the majority carriers
7/2/15 2:45 PM
108 . chap ter 5 of HIV/AIDS in prison; they die from it more than women, and they move between prison and home at a higher rate and volume than women do. Despite these realities, Black women in Chicago (as well as nationally) are the fastestgrowing HIV-positive group.76 For example, in 2008, Black women in Chicago constituted 80 percent of all new HIV cases.77 And the overwhelming majority of them were infected via heterosexual contact.78 Why are Black women being afflicted with the disease at such high rates when the geographic and social conditions encourage its spread among men? The imbalance of available Black men for Black women goes a long way in explaining why Black heterosexual women are rapidly acquiring the disease. Research on the topic demonstrates that high rates of Black male incarceration and premature death are the culprits for this disparity.79 In Chicago, for instance, there are 85 Black men to every 100 Black women.80 In 2000, Black men between age twenty-five and thirty-four experienced 261 deaths per 100,000. For men between age thirty-five and forty-four, it was 453.81 This is compounded by high incarceration rates. In 2001, one out of every six Black men were incarcerated nationally.82 These statistics not only highlight the toll that mass incarceration and violence have on Black men, but they also illustrate the structural forces that shape Black sexual relations. As a result of this imbalance, Black men have less incentive to have a single sexual partner because the disproportion presents them with more options. Even though heterosexuality is not the universal sexual practice among Blacks, it nevertheless accounts for a majority of how Black Chicagoans identify.83 As a result, because there are fewer Black men, more Black women are looking for partners. This makes it possible for Black men to have multiple partners. Though nationally men report having more sexual partners than women, Black men report higher numbers of sexual partners over their lifetime.84 In a 2005 survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control, 34 percent of Black men between ages fifteen and forty-four report having had fifteen or more female sexual partners in their lifetime compared to 9 percent of Black women with as many partners.85 Moreover, because Blacks have sex in locally based social networks or “sexual markets” that are overlaid with entrenched segregation, Black men’s encounters with multiple sex partners, half of which occur without protection, have encouraged transmission among Black women.86 The expansion of HIV/AIDS among Black women in recent years has placed too much attention on sexual practices that stigmatize and offer simple explanations for complex problems, all the while obfuscating the sociospatial inequalities that inform the rise of the infection.
7/2/15 2:45 PM
ghost mapping · 109
Black Politics and HIV/AIDS These structural factors, however, do not tell the entire story. A conservative political calculus that further marginalized HIV/AIDS and exacerbated the expansion of the disease aided the IDOC pump that facilitated the geography of risk in Black Chicago. Black political organizations—the church, the NAACP, and the Urban League—played a contradictory role in the rise of HIV/AIDS in Black Chicago. In effect, their silence undermined their ability to actively fight the epidemic. They were not alone. The Reagan administration’s conservative politics set in motion HIV/AIDS policies that made the problem worse by a stringent disavowal of the disease and those affected by it, which summarily handed down a death sentence to thousands living with the disease. Reagan cut funding to nonprofits involved in educating the public about the disease; he dismissed research by the CDC that discovered the relative ease with which the disease could spread. Because HIV/AIDS was associated with gay men, Reagan could not bring himself to talk publicly about AIDS. His only public statement was a racist lament that Haitians were bringing the disease into the country, a double-edged misconception that continues to inform immigration restrictions against Haitians and HIV-positive individuals.87 Reagan’s reactionary politics were in lockstep with the conservative wings of the Black political mainstream. Their unwillingness to engage HIV/AIDS because of misplaced homophobia and sex-antagonistic moralism worked to create a context in which Black people with the disease had little institutional recourse for curbing its disastrous effects. Much of this stemmed from the framing of AIDS as a non-Black issue, which placed AIDS on the margins of Black political life. This disavowal illuminates the complex ways oppression affects Blacks. Even more, it illustrates the preference for conservative and monolithic politics and illusory “consensus” issues among Black people.88 “To discuss AIDS in Black communities,” argues political scientist Cathy Cohen “is to discuss a multiplicity of identities, definitions or membership, locations of power, and strategies for the political, social, and economic survival of the community.”89 HIV/AIDS has clearly affected the most marginalized members of Black communities: gays and lesbians, intravenous drug users, women, the poor, and prisoners. According to Cohen, mainstream Black politics was reluctant to rally around these groups for two reasons: because the issues that affect these groups are seen as “cross-cutting” issues,90 social and political matters (such as housing, jobs, and education) that cut across or “stand in contrast to consensus issues, which are understood
7/2/15 2:45 PM
110 . chap ter 5 to constrain or oppress with equal probability . . . all identifiable marginal group members”;91 and because crosscutting issues are often situated among the “subpopulations of marginal communities” (for example, sex workers, drug addicts, and prisoners).92 Not coincidentally, the vulnerability of these subpopulations is often linked to what is considered “questionable” morality, such as non-normative sexuality and/or drug use.93 The consequence of this is that it further marginalizes some of the people already on the fringes of our society. It also recalls an outdated “politics of respectability” that has had negative consequences on Black life in Chicago, as illustrated in chapter 1. If Black people are given access to political resources because (or only when) they are “respectable,” then large segments of the population will go unacknowledged and unaided. The second reason that the Black political establishment was reluctant to rally around HIV/AIDS is because doing so “threatens a perceived unified Black group identity.”94 Attention to HIV/AIDS threatens the reallocation of resources to political issues seen as marginal, immoral, and not reflective of the needs of the Black masses. It demonstrates that Blacks are not a monolithic group and that Black political issues move across spectrums and are not tied to any “bedrock issues.” One reason unity has and continues to be important in Black politics is because it simplifies the political landscape by connecting Black identity with political issues. In George Lipsitz’s generative formulation, this kind of political formation is based on identities rather than a “political project aimed at creating identities based on politics.”95 In short, monolithic politics created political issues based on identity (in other words, being Black). Rallying around HIV/AIDS, therefore, destabilizes the mythology of Black political homogeneity and exposes its heterogeneity. Sexual conservatism is a significant factor in the Black political establishment’s inability to grapple with HIV/AIDS. It is no secret that the association of HIV/AIDS with the Black LGBT community seriously delimits the desire on the part of Black political organizations like the church to engage with AIDS. While Black Americans are by no means the only people to express homophobia, the antigay rhetoric that can often be heard from the pulpit illuminates the ways the church is complicit in fostering sentiments that marginalize AIDS within Black America. Part of the reason Black organizations such as the church have taken a vow of silence on AIDS (other than so-called biblical reasons) is that some Black communities see non-normative sexuality as “mitigating” racial subjectivity.96 One must choose whether to elevate racial or sexual identity, because current formulations of Black identity do not allow for Black people to claim them simultaneously.97
7/2/15 2:45 PM
ghost mapping · 111
When carceral power became a force in Black Chicago during the early twentieth century amid anxieties about the potential for interracial sex between Black men and white women, the conservative wing of the Black political calculus was unable and unwilling to respond to it because it saw constraining and curtailing Black sexuality as an antidote to racism. As a result, carceral power in the form of policing was able to attach itself to the Black Belt. The same can be said with respect to HIV/AIDS. Many Black churches in Chicago have been unwilling to engage actively with HIV/AIDS because of the sexual connotations associated with the disease. Because many churches see abstinence and sex after marriage as the only legitimate and responsible form of sexual expression, HIV/AIDS complicates the church’s message on sex and sexuality. So despite the alarming numbers of Black Chicagoans who died from HIV/AIDS between 2000 and 2010—3,757—Black churches have decided that the moral and theological risks of addressing HIV/AIDS outweigh the benefits of actively engaging in its prevention. There are exceptions, however. Some Chicago churches have decided to actively take up the fight against AIDS. Through evangelizing, organizing, and creating AIDS ministries, some Black churches have begun to fight against the Black AIDS crisis. One South Side church, the Bray Temple Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, for example, under the leadership of Dorothy Williams, has made it a point to fight HIV/AIDS. Using a mix of theology and action, such as condom distribution, Reverend Williams admits that abstinence has not worked. This recognition has forced her congregation to respond to the crisis differently.98 In spite of the efforts of churches like Bray Temple, mainstream Black political organizations have worked to greatly limit the scope and possibility of what is considered important for Black political mobilization. This also informs who will have the privilege of drawing on the resources of Black churches, the NAACP, and the Urban League. While there is no one way to characterize these institutions’ current response to HIV/AIDS, when the epidemic first emerged, the response was “mixed, limited, and often reluctant”—to say the least.99 In cases where programs were created, they were designed to “fit within a constrained moral and political framework, where anything from a lack of expertise on this issue to the word of God were offered as reasons for doing less,” argues Cohen.100 This political framework has also made being Black and living with HIV/AIDS extremely difficult. Internal homophobia, hostility, and paternalism placed Black people living with AIDS within what Cohen calls an advanced form of marginalization.101 In many cases, advanced marginalization has worked to ostracize and alienate these
7/2/15 2:45 PM
112 . chap ter 5 Black people from mainstream Black communities. For some, being silent about their HIV status and or sexuality is the route of least resistance.102 The politics around HIV/AIDS is also deeply racialized. Despite President Reagan’s silence, by the 1990s gay white activists had convinced elected officials—particularly Arkansas governor Bill Clinton, who was running for president—that action had to be taken to combat the disease.103 In the early 1990s popular culture (for example, Pedro Gomorra on MTV’s The Real World) and foundations with political backing from elected officials put money behind efforts to stamp out the growth of HIV/AIDS. Overnight, there was a change in how HIV/AIDS was addressed: there were public-service announcements championing condom use, money for research and development emerged, and there was an overall commitment by the government to save the lives of those dying of AIDS. Race shaped the changing attitudes of HIV/AIDS. Black AIDS activist Phil Wilson contends that the whiteness and maleness of AIDS infection, activism, and death spurred the political elite—who are largely white and male—to deploy resources to save the lives of those dying. Yet as HIV/AIDS has overwhelmingly, since the turn of the twenty-first century, become a Black disease, a new silence has emerged. Now, because whites are no longer the signifier of the disease, HIV/AIDS is no longer a problem that warrants attention, political resources, or compassion. As quickly as they emerged, funds for the prevention of HIV/AIDS began to dry up; the condom PSAs disappeared; and popular culture moved away from the topic. Black people, now carriers of the disease, did not warrant the same compassion and concern whites had demanded just a decade prior.
Conclusion Unfolding the spatial, migratory, and political forces that helped to create Black Chicago’s AIDS crisis reveals the complex ways these social realities threaten Black health. The Black HIV/AIDS crisis in Black Chicago is a consequence of the war on drugs. The destructive attention paid to drug use and the prison boom it engendered rapidly accelerated the expansion of the disease in Chicago. The HIV/AIDS crisis in Black Chicago also reveals the need to rethink this country’s reliance on prisons as a way to address social problems. Conventional wisdom might suggest that not going to prison at all or, even worse, longer stays in prison or better sexual values might help to stifle the spread of HIV/AIDS among Black communities. However, these answers normal-
7/2/15 2:45 PM
ghost mapping · 113
ize prison punishment. They do not address the ways in which Black people are marked as criminal and the profound economic realities that land many Blacks in prison. Such sentiments do not take into account the vast forms of containment that enable the disease. And they make conservative sexual mores the arbiter of ending the surge of HIV/AIDS. Sex is not what produces HIV/AIDS; rather poverty, instability, and containment are the culprits.
7/2/15 2:45 PM
Epilogue Fertile Ground Walls turned sideways are bridges. —Angela Y. Davis, Angela Davis: An Autobiography
Chicago’s geography is changing. And as with many urban areas, gentrification plays a significant role. For example, parts of the West Side have seen a significant boom in rent prices and an upswing in condo construction, followed by an influx of trendy new shops and upscale eateries along major corridors. Wicker Park, which is one of the oldest and most racially, ethnically, and economically diverse neighborhoods, is seeing that diversity disappear. In recent years Pilsen, an entry point for Mexican migrants, has become hipster chic. It has also become less Mexican: since around 2005, there has been a growing outmigration of Mexican Americans and an influx of whites. The same goes for the former Ukraine Village also on the West Side. The South Side is seeing this kind of change as well. The South Loop, which sits along the southern part of downtown, has attracted young whites looking for cheaper housing in “up-and-coming neighborhoods.” The public housing corridor along State Street (south of the South Loop) is gone, as are most of the residents who lived there. That displacement corresponded with something unthinkable just a decade ago: the return of Black middle-class people into the heart of the former Black Belt also known as Bronzeville. The Black middle class left the neighborhood in the 1970s as restrictions on housing began to loosen. However, the jury is still out regarding the economic effect their re-migration will bring. Housing values and the rates of poverty have not drastically changed since they arrived. Moreover, the political history still troubles their relationship with the poor and working class. Nevertheless, their re-migration demonstrates that the Black Belt of 2015 is different from the Black Belt of the last century.
7/2/15 2:45 PM
fertile ground · 115
It is a signal that some of the patterns of segregation that imprisoned parts of the South Side are breaking up. Gentrification, however, is not the entire story of Chicago’s changing landscapes. Nor is it the most compelling. I want to end this book by talking about the geographic change I find powerful and hopeful. Since the mid-1990s abandoned lots all over the city have been turned into spaces of agricultural production. Not limited to middle-class white neighborhoods, urban gardens have sprung up in poor and working-class communities on the South and West Sides of the city. This is not the first time Chicagoans have performed agriculture in the city. The city has a long history of urban agriculture. In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, European and Black migrants used the open spaces around the city to plant corn, potatoes, beans, cucumbers, and squash. The crops were so bountiful that they offset the need for food importation. Expanding the built environment of the city throughout the twentieth century and the growth of corporate agriculture dramatically scaled back urban food production. That tide, however, is turning. Why does growing food in Black Chicago matter? And why is it important for the South Side, given the history this book tells? It’s important because geography played a significant role in creating the problems that plague Black Chicago today, and geography must factor in as part of the solution. The consequences of carceral space are not permanent; they can be undone. And one way to do this is through the creation of green spaces. In general, people living near green spaces are typically healthier. Indeed, recent research by human geographers contends that agricultural or green spaces are therapeutic and have positive health, emotional, and affective influences on people who live near them—across race and class.1 Trees, shrubs, flowers, and plants clean the air by removing toxins and providing a space for residents to socialize and exercise. Green spaces are linked to stress reduction and have been shown to help communities build stronger bonds. They offer shade on hot days and catch water that would otherwise end up in drains or lakes and streams. Green spaces are a different landscape on which residents can interact. In these little oases, neighbors can simply revel in the beauty of trees and flowers. Anyone, even the most nature adverse (myself included), who has spent time in nature knows that trees, flowers, the sound of birds singing, the buzz of insects, and the smell of budding flowers have a therapeutic effect.2 The South Side needs spaces like this to counter the geography of containment that has plagued parts of the community. They can help create an environment that encourages calm, healing, and even restorative
7/2/15 2:45 PM
116 . epilogue practices. Given the impact the prisonization of space has had on Black men, green spaces might be one way to combat the consequences of containment by providing “landscapes of liberation” where new performances of Black masculinity can be constructed and produced.3 The city and the community have everything to gain by engaging in these practices, and so little to lose. Green spaces can also produce food. This is especially significant to Black Chicago. The fresh fruits and vegetables that come from these small plots of land are vital forms of nourishment, which can revolutionize the health of the community that was negatively affected by enclosure. Much of Black Chicago suffers from food insecurity. These communities are often described as “food deserts,” large geographic areas with little or no access to grocery stores. For example, Black Chicagoans on average have to travel twice as far to get to a grocery store as they do to get to a fast food restaurant.4 This means that, for Black people, it is easier to get low nutrition, low-quality fast food than it is to get to a grocery store. This imbalance has profound implications for their health. Food imbalance contributes to obesity rates. On the largely white, middle-class North and Northwest Sides of the city, residents have low rates of obesity. These communities have an abundance of grocery stores and the economic means to purchase healthy food. On the mostly Black South and West Sides of the city, where residents live in food deserts and where poverty is concentrated, there are high rates of obesity. In short, obesity and the negative health effects it produces (cardiovascular disease, diabetes, hypertension) are mapped on Black Chicago. Urban agriculture can also help offset the detrimental effects of living in a food desert and also provide social, physical, and mental health benefits to the community. Growing food on small plots of land positively influences dietary habits and the culinary diversity in the place where that food is grown. When communities have access to whole foods, they also develop skills to turn that raw food into cooked food. And locally grown food is also more economical. Every dollar spent on a community garden generates six dollars’ worth of food.5 This makes it possible for people who have little or no flexibility in their food budgets to purchase healthy foods. Moreover, urban agriculture makes it possible for the poor and people of color to have some form of control over the foods they eat. By developing relationships with the people who plant and harvest the crops, they can choose what foods they want to consume and even influence the availability of those choices. One of the most important benefits of urban agriculture is food security. People who live near spaces where food is produced have less food insecurity.
7/2/15 2:45 PM
fertile ground · 117
In times of poverty, disaster, and even war, local food systems are a secure and stable food source. In Black Chicago, where the smallest market gyration can mean financial ruin to residents, an affordable, reliable food source is invaluable. Urban agriculture also has physical, mental, and emotional health benefits. Urban gardens are social spaces where community members gather and build relationships with each other and with gardeners. These spaces give people a place to come to that will nourish both the body and the mind. Furthermore, urban gardens are places of exercise. Gardening is indeed a rigorous form of exercise that has beneficial effects on the body, helping to develop fine motor skills, strengthen muscles, and improve flexibility.6 Urban gardens are on the rise in Chicago and not just in white, middleclass neighborhoods. On the South Side, they can be found in Woodlawn, Englewood, Bronzeville, South Shore, Morgan Park, Roseland, Pullman, and South Chicago. They are located in schools, college campuses, in abandoned lots, on small neglected spaces, and along railroad embankments. Residents created some of these urban gardens; others are the product of consortiums that includes faith groups, health advocates, local community, urban agricultural farmers, environmentalists, and nonprofits. Local community members perform the majority of the day-to-day upkeep. In places like Englewood and Woodlawn, which have some of the highest rates of violence and poverty in the city, young people are learning how to grow food, cook their bounty, and organize farmers markets to sell their produce. In doing this, they are changing the landscape. Transforming stark abandonment into abundant food enables Englewood to be a place where nourishment and restoration live. Moreover, the skills learned will enrich not only the lives of the young people but the entire community. Think of the effects this would have if more empty lots were turned into gardens. The sense of pride and accomplishment of seeing crops grow and feeding people can radically alter the environment. Furthermore, with few jobs in the community, urban farming can be a way to provide work to people who are labor insecure. The impact of these gardens is incalculable. They touch so many aspects of Chicago’s ecosystem. They provide residents with better food options, help young people develop agricultural and entrepreneurial skills; they provide farmers with productive and creative labor, contribute to the health of the community, and help build coalitions. They are spaces to socialize and exercise. And they are tranquil, therapeutic landscapes that reduce stress. They also demonstrate that, if given the opportunity, poor people can transform
7/2/15 2:45 PM
118 . epilogue their landscape from spaces that fostered containment to places that nourish the body and mind. And by using local grounds to do this, the landscape becomes a place of rejuvenation and sustainability. Transforming urban geography is something that poor people in cities have been doing for decades. In the South Bronx of the 1970s poor and workingclass Black and Puerto Rican youth turned parts of the borough into an art studio. Trains and subway stations became places for graffiti writers’ to paint; b-boys and girls danced in subways, street corners, and abandoned lots; and DJs demonstrated their skills in parks. They created hip-hop’s geography and forever changed how city space was used. Urban gardening has the potential to do something similar. By transforming abandoned lots into fertile ground, landscapes that not long ago contained can become places that sustain. The philosopher Henri Lefebvre has argued that a “revolution that does not produce a new space has not realized its full potential.”7 Lefebvre’s argument illustrates the importance of Chicago’s turn toward green spaces. As I have demonstrated in this book, Black Chicago was confronted with forms of containment, policing, and surveillance that cast a prison-like shadow over parts of the community. And the collateral damage of this arrangement continues to affect neighborhoods. The simple act of changing the landscape to support growing food and having green spaces does what gentrification can never do: give hope, revitalize, nourish, and create sustainability in a community that has faced significant social problems. I know that growing peas and collard greens is not a revolution by itself. Urban agriculture won’t erase poverty, undermine segregation, or eliminate overpolicing. Nevertheless, urban agriculture is a way to remake the ground on which decades of enclosure were built. Moreover, urban agriculture demonstrates that, if given the opportunity, the South and West Sides can transform. It shows that poor and working-class people can be architects and planners, that they can augment their geographies in ways that produce healthy people and vital, vibrant communities. And most important, they can do it on their own terms. No developers, trendy bars, designer strollers, beer gardens, espresso shops, or demographic changes needed! Chicago’s walls still exist. And no collected force of wrecking balls can bring them down because they are the product of century-long social forces. The only way we will defeat them is to address the forces that produce them. Nationally, local governments and developers have decided that the best way to tackle these social problems is to move poor people out—change the demography. Parts of Oakland, California, and Brooklyn, New York, are examples of this strategy. I don’t want to see this happen to Chicago any
7/2/15 2:45 PM
fertile ground · 119
more than it already has. The poor don’t deserve to be pushed aside. And why should they be? Chicago is big enough to accommodate everyone. The only thing standing in our way is vision and a little bit of courage. Let us agree together that walling in Black people did not solve the problem of the color line. Let us acknowledge that what will help are the sprouts budding on the South Side. They are creating a new kind of place that will make it possible for residents to transform their community and their lives. Angela Y. Davis famously argued that if you turn walls sideways, they become bridges. This adage is applicable to Black Chicago. If you cover walls with plants, they cease being barriers.
7/2/15 2:45 PM
7/2/15 2:45 PM
Carceral Matters: An Introduction 1. Drake and Cayton, Black Metropolis, 8. 2. Glaze and Herberman,“Correctional Populations,” 2, 3, 10. 3. Sentencing Project, “Racial Disparity.” 4. Mauer and King, “Uneven Justice.” 5. Alexander, New Jim Crow, 175. 6. Delyser et al., Sage Handbook, 248. 7. See McIlwraith and Muller, “North America”; Lefebvre, Production of Space. 8. Delyser et al., Sage Handbook, 258–59. 9. McKittrick and Woods, Black Geographies, 4. 10. Foucault, Discipline and Punish, 295. 11. James, Resisting State Violence, 25. 12. McKittrick, “On Plantations,” 948. 13. See Plato, Last Days of Socrates. 14. McKittrick, “On Plantations,” 48. 15. Equiano, Interesting Narrative, 43. 16. Delaney, Race, Place, and the Law. 17. McKittrick, “On Plantations,” 955. Also see Davis, Are Prisons Obsolete? 18. Du Bois, Souls of Black Folk. 19. Throughout the text, I use “masculinity,” which denotes a singular form of masculinity. Masculinity scholars have argued that there is not one masculinity but rather many “masculinities.” Like most scholars in the field, I use masculinity over masculinities because the singular sounds better. 20. Masculinity studies is indebted to the politics and scholarship of feminist studies. It is the single most important theoretical discourse of masculinity studies. It
7/2/15 2:45 PM
122 . notes to introduc tion and chap ter 1 was feminism that put a spotlight on men and masculinity, which early masculinity scholars would eventually pick up on and then create the field. I enter masculinity studies through the prism of Black feminism. Black feminism’s analysis of the intersecting dynamics of domination and privilege pushes me beyond the gender binary and forces me to consider the complex sociospatial positions Black men are situated within. 21. Though other outcomes—some of which are positive and demonstrate the resilience of Black men—exist, I focus on those that were not. My reason for documenting the negative consequences is simple: they were the ones most visible, particularly evident in the analysis of Richard Wright and Black prisoners. 22. Lipsitz, Possessive Investment in Whiteness, 1. 23. Reeser, Masculinities in Theory, 8.
Chapter 1. Policing Interracial Sex 1. Mumford, Interzones, 26 2. “‘Lid’ a Joke.” 3. Mumford, Interzones, 30. 4. “Gunman Hired.” 5. “Defied by Levee Hall.” 6. “Capt. Max.” 7. “Police Shakeup”; “Nootbaar Goes Back”; “Plans Canvass.” 8. “Plans Canvass.” 9. Williams, Our Enemies in Blue, 58. 10. “Center Fire.” 11. “Plans Canvass.” 12. “Nootbaar Bares Flagrant Vice.” 13. Ibid. 14. Mumford, Interzones. 15. The Mann Act, in no uncertain terms, demonstrated the extent to which the state would go to limit interracial socializing. Congress attempted to regulate prostitution through making the transportation of prostitutes across state lines illegal for the purpose of “immoral sexual relations.” Using federal power against interracial sex and interracial marriage made it possible for states to take steps to do the same. Ibid., 10–12. 16. Ibid., 20. 17. Ibid., 21. 18. See Heap, Slumming. 19. Mumford, Interzones, 28. 20. Ibid. 21. Heap, Slumming, 190. 22. Ibid., 191. 23. Wilkins, Aesthetics of Equity, 11.
7/2/15 2:45 PM
notes to chap ter 1 · 123
24. Clement, “From Sociability to Spectacle.” 25. “Captain Max Nootbaar”; “Capt. Nootbaar.” 26. Pacyga, Chicago, 31–32. 27. Ibid., 129–30. 28. Washington, Packing Them In, 76. 29. Ibid., 78. 30. Pacyga, Chicago, 130–31. 31. Roediger, Wages of Whiteness, 13. 32. See Flinn and Wilkie, History of the Chicago Police. 33. Du Bois, Black Reconstruction. 34. Roediger, Working toward Whiteness, 8. 35. Inwood, “Geographies of Race,” 565. 36. Ibid., 565. 37. Ibid., 566. Also see Du Bois, Black Reconstruction. 38. Inwood, “Geographies of Race,” 567. 39. Du Bois, Black Reconstruction, 674. 40. “Throughout the struggle for Black freedom and equality, whites were more frightened by the possibility of interracial sex and marriage if blacks were given equality than by blacks gaining political power through voting rights or better education through desegregated schools.” Childs, Navigating Interracial Borders, 47. 41. Nagel, Race, Ethnicity, and Sexuality, 111. 42. Ibid., 111. 43. Ibid., 115. 44. Hale, Making Whiteness. 45. “Rape, Racism, and the Capitalist Setting,” in James, Angela Y. Davis Reader, 122. 46. This is not to assume that Black sexual agency was not interracial. Much research has emerged that demonstrates that Blacks and whites in the South engaged in consensual interracial sex. However, sexual autonomy was more productive for the sexual lives of Black people. 47. See Du Bois, Black Reconstruction. 48. “The divisive and individuating of power of discipline, operating in conjunction with the sequestering and segregating control of black bodies . . ., permitted under the guise of social rights and facilitated by the regulatory power of the state, resulted in the paradoxical construction of the freed both as self-determining and enormously burdened individuals and as members of a population whose productivity, procreation, and sexual practices were fiercely regulated and policed in the interests of an expanding capitalist economy and the preservation of a racial order on which the white republic was founded.” Hartman, Scenes of Subjection, 117. 49. These borders, more or less, have always been part of the sexual landscape of the United States. Over time they have been rearranged to encourage and discourage cross-racial sexual interaction.
7/2/15 2:45 PM
124 . notes to chap ter 1 50. See Nagel, Race, Ethnicity, and Sexuality; Du Bois, Black Reconstruction; James, Angela Y. Davis Reader. 51. Delaney, Race, Place, and the Law, 96. 52. Pinar, Gender of Racial Politics, 11. 53. Between 1882 and 1968, 3,148 Black people were lynched throughout the South. In Mississippi alone, 539 Blacks were lynched during this period. See “Lynching by State and Race, 1882–1968.” 54. Pinar, Gender of Racial Politics, 11, 55. 55. “By conducting the lynching in a circus like atmosphere,” argue Stewart Tolnay and E. M. Beck, “by subjecting the victim to torture and mutilation, and by prominently displaying the corpse, preferably near the black community, they could convey a clear message to the general black population. That message was not clearly restricted to a simple admonition to obey the law. Rather, it was capable of achieving a far broader objective” (Festival of Violence, 113). 56. “Chicago Almost Has a Lynching.” 57. “Illinois Lynching.” 58. “Seven Dead.” 59. “Race War Rages”; “Seven Dead.” 60. “Illinois Mob Hangs Negro.” 61. “Explains Capital Lynching.” 62. Muhammad, Condemnation of Blackness, 37, 46. 63. Drake and Cayton, Black Metropolis, 129–30. 64. Ross, Manning the Race, 23. 65. Muhammad, Condemnation of Blackness, 35. 66. Ibid. Also see Nast, “Mapping the ‘Unconsious,’” 215. 67. Muhammad, Condemnation of Blackness, 35. 68. Mumford, Interzones, 53–54. 69. In the years between the Great Fire (1871) and the first World’s Fair (1893), the Negro population increased from five thousand to fifteen thousand. Ibid., 47. 70. “Race traits and tendencies of the American Negro was [hailed as a] ‘tour de force in the annals of post-emancipation writing on the Negro problem.’” Muhammad, Condemnation of Blackness, 35. 71. Drake and Cayton, Black Metropolis, 61. 72. One issue of the Property Owners’ Journal made it clear that Blacks in close physical proximity to whites was considered a threat to both Black and white safety: “Keep the Negro in his place amongst his people, and he is healthy and loyal. Remove him, or allow his newly discovered importance to remove him from his proper environment, and the Negro becomes a nuisance. He develops into an overbearing, inflated, irascible individual, overburdening his brain to such an extent about social equality that he becomes dangerous to all whom he comes in contact.” Drake and Cayton, Black Metropolis, 116. 73. Ibid., 116–17.
7/2/15 2:45 PM
notes to chap ter 1 · 125
74. “A social-equality scare arose during the Depression years when public attention became focused upon the activities of the Communist Party. That organization was widely accused of stirring up Negroes to demand social equality. The presence of Negroes at picnics, dances, and demonstrations sponsored by left-wing groups was cited as irrefutable evidence that the “Reds” were planting ambitions in the Negro’s mind that would not stop short of the Caucasian nuptial bed.” Ibid., 118n. 75. Williams, Our Enemies in Blue, 63. 76. “Trude Makes Secret Check.” 77. Ibid. 78. See Carby, “Policing”; Ross, Manning the Race. 79. Ross, Manning the Race, 24; Carby, “Policing.” 80. It would be incorrect to assume that this concern was the province of crossracial heterosexual sex. Black middle-class leaders were equally concerned about sex between men. See Ross, Manning the Race, 26. 81. Ibid., 26, 147. 82. Carby, “Policing,” 739. 83. Ross, Manning the Race, 145. 84. Ibid., 146. 85. Ibid. 86. Ibid. 87. Du Bois, Against Racism, 100. 88. Ibid. 89. See D. A. McBride, “Straight Black Studies: On African American Studies, James Baldwin, and Black Queer Studies,” in Johnson and Henderson, Black Queer Studies, 70–71. 90. In spite of earnest efforts, Black respectability could not produce the political gains it sought. It could not counter anti-Black racism through desexualizing blackness, in large part because Black sexuality—whether respectable or queer—is always outside heteronormativity. In short, Black sexuality is queer because it is Black. This is relevant because as middle-class Black leaders used respectability to ensure Black citizenship, they were unable to draw on what Roderick Ferguson termed “the invention of ethnicity” as European immigrants were able to. Therefore, the failure of the politics of Black respectability became a lesson in the racializing of sexuality and citizenship. See Ferguson, “Race-ing Homonormativity”; Cohen, “Punks, Bulldaggers, and Welfare Queens”; Ferguson, Aberrations in Black; Nagel, Race, Ethnicity. 91. See “National Fight”; “Step Out of Vice”; “Cities Negro Duty”; “Blacks Will Band.” 92. According to historian Richard J. Lundman, “In the years preceding the rise of police departments in London and in the United States, middle-class and elite members of society attributed crime . . . and public drunkenness to the members of the ‘dangerous classes.’ The image was that of a convulsively and possibly biologically criminal, riotous, and intemperate group of persons located at the base of society.
7/2/15 2:45 PM
126 . notes to chap ters 1 and 2 Their actions were seen as destroying the very fabric of society” (qtd. in Williams, Our Enemies in Blue, 67). 93. Ibid., 72.
Chapter 2. “Our Prison” 1. Wright, Richard Wright Reader, 212. 2. Ibid. 3. Robinson, Black Marxism, 170. 4. Ibid., 289. 5. Dixon, Ride Out the Wilderness, 57. 6. Ibid., 56. 7. Ibid., 59. 8. Ibid., 58. 9. “Dining Out.” 10. Plotkin, “Kitchenettes.” 11. Drake and Cayton, Black Metropolis, 576. 12. Plotkin, “Kitchenettes.” 13. “Apartment House Problem.” 14. Washington, Packing Them In, 4. 15. Plotkin, “Kitchenettes.” 16. Washington, Packing Them In, 4. 17. Wright, 12 Million Black Voices, 104. 18. Ibid., 104 19. Brodkin, How Jews Became White Folks. 20. See Ignatiev, How the Irish Became White; Roediger, Wages of Whiteness; Roediger, Working toward Whiteness; Jacobson, Whiteness of a Different Color; Omi and Winant, Racial Formation; Pounder et al., Race. 21. McKay, Long Way from Home, xxxii. 22. Johnson, Negro Housing, 258–59. 23. Ibid., 180, 258–59. 24. Ibid., 180, 257–59. 25. Ibid., 180. 26. “In Women’s Realm.” 27. “Kitchenette Marketing.” 28. “Young Business Men.” 29. “Kitchenettes Meet a Long Felt Need.” 30. Census, 1900, “Annual Wages by Sex.” 31. See Heap, Slumming; Wilson, Sphinx in the City. 32. “Matters of Interest to Women.” 33. “In Praise of Kitchenettes.” 34. Ibid. 35. Taylor, “Kitchenette Cooking.”
7/2/15 2:45 PM
notes to chap ter 2 · 127
36. “Ranchers Surrender to Kitchenetters”; “Kitchenette Marketing.” 37. “Says Kitchenette Mars Family Life.” 38. “Finds Americans Are Outgrowing the Kitchenette.” 39. Ibid. 40. “How Slums Are Made.” 41. “Prominent Speakers.” 42. “Story of City’s Big Problem.” 43. Drake and Cayton, Black Metropolis, 175–80. 44. See Drake and Cayton, Black Metropolis; 1920 Census, “Measuring America.” 45. Hirsch, Making the Second Ghetto, 3. 46. 1930 Census, “Measuring America.” 47. Plotkin, “Kitchenettes.” 48. Ibid. 49. Lipsitz, “Racialization of Space.” Also see Sugrue, Origins of the Urban Crisis; Darden, Hill, Thomas, and Thomas, Detroit. 50. Delaney, Race, Place, and the Law, 151. 51. Drake and Cayton, Black Metropolis, 184. 52. Delaney, Race, Place, and the Law, 151. 53. According to one Chicago resident, “We ought to be able to live anywhere in the city we want to. What the government should do, or somebody with money, is to fight these restrictive covenants and let our people move where they want to. It’s a dirty shame that all types of foreigners can move anywhere in the city they want to, and a colored man who has been a soldier and a citizen for his country can live only in a Black Belt.” Drake and Cayton, Black Metropolis, 198–99. 54. Roediger, Working toward Whiteness, 158. 55. Drake and Cayton, Black Metropolis, 63. 56. Ibid., 204. 57. “City Aroused, Probes Ordered.” 58. “5 Die in Flaming Firetrap.” 59. Kinnamon, New Essays on Native Son, 87. 60. Wright, 12 Million Black Voices, 103. 61. “Books of the Times.” 62. Wright, Native Son, 68. 63. Ibid., 68. 64. Ibid., 350. 65. Ibid., 243. 66. Ibid., 352. 67. Ibid., 353. 68. Ibid., 351. 69. Ibid., 442. 70. Dixon, Ride Out the Wilderness, 2. 71. See Smith, Uneven Development.
7/2/15 2:45 PM
128 . notes to chap ter 2 72. See Smith, Uneven Development; Lefebvre, Production of Space; Craddock, City of Plagues; Crampton and Elden, Space, Knowledge, and Power; Harvey, Social Justice and the City; Gilmore, “Fatal Couplings”; Wilkins, Aesthetics of Equity. 73. See Foucault, Discipline and Punish; Crampton and Elden, Space, Knowledge, and Power. 74. Kirby, Indifferent Boundaries, 11. 75. Ibid. 76. Wright, 12 Million Black Voices, 106, 110. 77. Wright, Native Son, 7. 78. “How ‘Bigger’ was Born,” in Wright, Native Son, 443. 79. “The birth of Bigger Thomas goes back to my childhood and there was not just one Bigger, but many of them, more than I could count and more than you suspect.” Ibid., 434. 80. Ibid., 442. 81. Ibid. 82. Wright, 12 Million Black Voices, 108. 83. Wright, Native Son, 17, 21. 84. “How “Bigger” Was Born,” in Wright, Native Son, 442. 85. 1940 Census, “Race Universe: Total Population.” 86. Drake and Cayton, Black Metropolis, 205. 87. Ibid., 202. 88. Ibid., 202. 89. Wright, Native Son, 174. 90. As far back as the nineteenth century, jails and prisons were “seed beds” for disease. Crowding people together in unsanitary conditions made these institutions incubators of disease. From New York to Richmond and Los Angeles, reports on the sickness within jails and prisons were startling. The level of disease at Albany Penitentiary was noted in an 1857 editorial from a New York resident: “Would not the death to thirteen men in a few days from typhus fever . . . be regarded in a village of 1,075 as something closely resembling an epidemic?” See “Disease in Our Prisons and Asylums.” Also see Craddock, City of Plagues. 91. Wright, Richard Wright Reader, 212. 92. According to Drake and Cayton (Black Metropolis, 204), high death rates might have had something to do with the fact that newly arrived migrants from the South had not built up antibodies to fend off the disease. Drake and Cayton also suggest that tuberculosis can be overcome with rest and good nutrition. Not having these intangibles and living in an unsanitary community is perhaps what created the TB epidemic of the 1940s. 93. During, Cultural Studies Reader, 144 94. See Crampton and Elden, Space, Knowledge, and Power. 95. Foucault, Discipline and Punish, 141. 96. Wright, 12 Million Black Voices, 105.
7/2/15 2:45 PM
notes to chap ter 2 · 129
97. Wright’s analysis demonstrates that the kitchenette was not the first encounter Blacks had with carceral power. Slavery, with its techniques of containment, policing, and surveillance, was the inaugural form of carceral punishment. 12 Million Black Voices, 105. 98. Wright, Richard Wright Reader, 418–19. 99. James, New Abolitionists, 209. 100. At its core, carceral power fosters intimate knowledge of inhabitants, which is made possible through surveillance. Indeed, making visible the mundane things prisoners do—eating, sleeping, praying, and the like—is how prisons discipline inhabitants. Prisons offer little refuge from the eyes of others. With some exceptions, everything is public. Because there are few private spaces within prison and because prisoners are always under the threat of others watching, much of the prisoners’ lives is made public. See James, New Abolitionists, 209. 101. Fanon, Wretched of the Earth, 5. 102. See Foucault, History of Sexuality. 103. Wright, Richard Wright Reader, 215. 104. Kimmel, History of Men, 19. 105. See Davis, Blues Legacies and Black Feminism; Carby, “It Just Be’s Dat Way Some Time.” 106. Wright, 12 Million Black Voices, 109. 107. Brooks, Maud Martha. 108. Hansberry, A Raisin in the Sun, 23. 109. See Griffin, “Who Set You Flowin’?” 110. Following the work of poststructuralist feminist Judith Butler, I see gender as a performance. Butler contends that gender is the “repeated stylization of the body, a set of repeated acts within highly rigid regulatory frames that congeal over time to produce the appearance of substance, of a natural sort of being.” What Butler means by this is that the body is a thing that can and has been manipulated to perform acts, endure punishment, and be trained. Its ability to be manipulated has also led to the way in which gender is understood and performed. For Butler, the gendered body is created or, to use her language, “stylized.” This stylization is repeated from person to person and from generation to generation. This process of repetition helps to make the process of gendered bodies appear natural over time. Moreover, the division between sex and gender congeals and creates the illusion, the myth, or the fantasy that the social construction of gender and the corporal reality of anatomical sex are one and the same. In other words, sex stands in for gender. But what is really occurring is that the body is being made to perform to serve the interest of a gender order that Butler writes is linked to compulsory heterosexuality. See “Bodily Inscriptions, Performative Subversions,” Salih, Judith Butler Reader. 111. Wright, Richard Wright Reader, 214–15. 112. “Negro Migration Poses Big Housing Problem.” 113. Chicago Housing Authority, “Bulletin.”
7/2/15 2:45 PM
130 . notes to chap ters 2 and 3 114. What I am referring to here are the various “flophouses” Blacks lived in. These one-room domiciles were rented to people for a day or perhaps a week. As a result, the population roamed the city in search of places to stay. See Drake and Cayton, Black Metropolis.
Chapter 3. Carceral Interstice 1. Hirsch, Making the Second Ghetto, 242–43. 2. Ibid., 243. 3. Lipsitz, How Racism Takes Place, 26. Also see Brown, Trumbull Park. 4. Hall, Case of Genocide, 12. 5. Davis, Are Prisons Obsolete? 6. See Du Bois, Souls of Black Folk. 7. James, Imprisoned Intellectuals. 8. See Rodriguez, Forced Passages; Sudbury, Global Lockdown. 9. Weizman, Hollow Land, 5. 10. Monroe and Goodman, Brothers. 11. hooks, Yearning, 41. 12. Foucault, Discipline and Punish, 299. 13. M. O. Wilson, “Dancing in the Dark: The Inscription of Blackness in Le Corbusier’s Radiant City,” in Nast and Pile, Places through the Body, 136. 14. Ibid., 138. 15. Ibid., 138. 16. Venkatesh, American Project, 16. 17. Truman, “State of the Union.” 18. High-rise, high-density housing projects were the act’s most visible and enduring legacy. It allocated funds to build more than 800,000 units (just shy of its projected mark of 810,000) in Black communities across the nation. It also financed and expanded the Federal Housing Authority (FHA), which regulated housing, and made the FHA home for a program that would cement racism into home purchasing for decades by allowing the agency to run a new mortgage program that made it possible for the federal government to back mortgage loans. The consequence of the act has been discussed by numerous scholars, who have pointed out that racial discrimination in lending not only segregated U.S. society but also subsidized white wealth production while divesting Blacks of wealth accumulation. Of the thirtythree housing projects approved in Chicago between 1950 and 1960, for example, twenty-five had a “substantial portion” of Black residents. And the other six were undergoing “racial transition” from white to Black. See Lipsitz, How Racism Takes Place; Lipsitz, Possessive Investment in Whiteness; Sugrue, Origins of the Urban Crisis; Hirsch, Making the Second Ghetto, 242–43. 19. Uprooting Blacks from the neighborhoods they came to depend on produced significant trauma from which these communities still suffer. Increased stress, tension, and anxiety brought on by urban renewal, what Mindy Thompson Fullilove calls
7/2/15 2:45 PM
notes to chap ter 3 · 131
“root shock,” created the conditions for susceptibility to disease, mental breakdowns and a host of other illness. See Fullilove, Root Shock. 20. Heap, Slumming. 21. “Dream of Progress.” 22. Ibid. 23. Venkatesh, American Project, 15. 24. Sugrue, Origins of the Urban Crisis, 57. 25. Goldberger, Why Architecture Matters, x. 26. Wilkins, Aesthetics of Equity. 27. For more on this topic see Venkatesh, American Project; Massey, American Apartheid. 28. Venkatesh, American Project. 29. This gave rise to the “superblock” of public housing—a collection of high-rise structures linked together by large amounts of unused land. The superblock consisted of twenty-one public housing projects that lined the streets between Fifty-First Street (running east–west) and the Dan Ryan Expressway (running north–south). Robert Taylor Homes and Stateway Gardens were the largest housing projects in the area, with a combined population of more than thirty thousand. Like Robert Taylor Homes, Stateway Gardens was informed by Le Corbusier’s thinking; it consisted of eight high-rise towers that sat in open areas. 30. Venkatesh, American Project, 18. 31. The original plans for the project sought to utilize these open spaces for parks, ponds, walkways, trees, waterways, and paths that would connect the buildings and infuse the landscape with beauty. However, the federal government, in an effort to cut cost, scrapped the plans to utilize the open spaces for community building and recreation; instead, the towers were organized in twos and threes facing each other. See Venkatesh, American Project, 18. 32. Bowly, Poorhouse, 24. 33. Venkatesh, American Project, 15–16. 34. Bowly, Poorhouse, 111. 35. See Fullilove, Root Shock. 36. See Bowly, Poorhouse, 125; Wilson, Race and Cities, 25. 37. Bowly, Poorhouse, 128. 38. Ibid., 124. 39. Since the end of the Johnson administration, the United States has effectively been “governed through crime.” Crime, more than any other political or social issue, has captivated the nation’s attention in ways that have profoundly eroded U.S. democracy (the rise of mass incarceration, the prisonization of schools, the expansion of the security apparatus, the growth of the court system, the creation of bureaucratic agencies aimed at fighting crime, just to name a few). “Crime has become so central to the exercise of authority in America, by everyone from the president of the United States to the classroom teacher, that it will take a concerted effort by Americans themselves to dislodge it.” Simon, Governing through Crime.
7/2/15 2:45 PM
132 . notes to chap ter 3 40. For more on this see Simon, Governing through Crime. 41. See Davis, Are Prisons Obsolete?; Gilmore, Golden Gulag. 42. Davis, Golden Gulag. 43. Simon, Governing through Crime, 6. 44. Ibid., 6. 45. It should be noted that the rising crime rates were largely a product of spiking unemployment rates that affected residents, which in turn produced under-the-table (or what Venkatesh calls, “off the books”) revenue streams that kept some households afloat. 46. Security was funded in the project rather than through initiatives to improve facilities or create job programs. The Reagan administration could deny funding for improvement of facilities that positively affected the lives of residents and in turn allocate funds for punitive measures. Thus the “technologies, discourses, and metaphors of crime and criminal justice have become more visible features of all kinds of institutions, where they can easily gravitate into new opportunities for governance.” Simon, Governing through Crime, 4–5. 47. Davis, City of Quartz. 48. See Venkatesh, American Project; Venkatesh, Off the Books; Hall, Case of Genocide; Melsness and Weichelt, “Geographical Crime Displacement.” 49. Foucault’s theorization of security from his lectures at the College of France explains that “sovereignty is exercised within the boarders of a territory, discipline is exercised on the bodies of individuals, and security is exercised over a whole population.” Foucault, Security, Territory, Population, 10–11. 50. “Public Housing Security Manual: Planning for the City of Chicago,” Housing Research and Development, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1981. See Venkatesh, American Project. 51. “Basic security emphasizes the resident’s ability to control his or her own living environment, given a supportive physical design. It is universal and can be applied to any housing development, even those without any identified security problem. Enhanced security is intended to provide additional security measures with less reliance on the individual resident. Instead, it demands a more structured organization of manpower and security devices such as security patrols and electronic monitoring equipment.” From p. 17 of the “Public Housing Security Manual,” quoted in Venkatesh, American Project, 123. 52. Foucault, Discipline and Punish, 210. 53. Hall, Case of Genocide. 54. Ibid. 55. Ibid. 56. Venkatesh, American Project, 123–24. 57. Ibid., 124. 58. Ibid., 124. 59. “CHA Official Scoffs.” 60. “Save the CHA’s Clean Sweep.”
7/2/15 2:45 PM
notes to chap ters 3 and 4 · 133
61. “CHA Official Scoffs.” 62. “Suit Filed over CHA Searches.” 63. Agamben, State of Exception. 64. Shakur, “Women in Prison,” 85. 65. Shakur, “Autobiography,” 60. 66. Kirby, Indifferent Boundaries, 12. 67. Monroe and Goodman, Brothers, 25. 68. Ibid., 26. 69. Victor Rios’s ethnographic research on Black and Latino young men makes a similar point. The young men Rios interviewed argued that the constant policing they endure in school and in their communities makes them feel like “the enemy.” See Rios, “Consequences,” 157. 70. Monroe and Goodman, Brothers, 29. 71. Jackson, Soledad Brother, 4. 72. Gilmore, Golden Gulag, 88. 73. “Make no mistake,” argues Gilmore, “prison building was and is not the inevitable outcome of these surpluses. It did, however, put certain state capacities into motion, make use of a lot of idle land, get capital invested via public debt and take more than 160,000 low-wage workers off the streets.” Golden Gulag, 88. 74. See Davis, Are Prisons Obsolete?; Davis, Prison Industrial Complex. 75. See Rodriguez, Forced Passages, 10–18; James, Warfare in the American Homeland; Wacquant, Prisons of Poverty; Wacquant, Punishing the Poor. 76. See Richie, Arrested Justice; Richie, Compelled to Crime. 77. See Loyd, Mitchelson, and Burridge, Beyond Walls and Cages. 78. Stanley and Smith, Captive Genders; Mogul, Ritchie, and Whitlock, Queer (In)Justice. 79. Davis, Prison Industrial Complex, 84. 80. Marx, Capital, 254–55. 81. Ibid., 164. 82. Visher, La Vigne, and Farrell, Illinois Prisoners’ Reflections on Returning Home. 83. Ibid. 84. Ibid. 85. “24 Arrests”; “30 Are Arrested”; “CHA Police Pass”; “CHA Building.” 86. “Taylor Homes Hit”; Agamben, State of Exception. 87. James, Warfare in the American Homeland, 98. 88. “Moving Not Easy.” 89. Jackson, Soledad Brother, 56.
Chapter 4. “Sores in the City” 1. Neri, Yummy, 7. 2. Salih, Judith Butler Reader, 94.
7/2/15 2:45 PM
134 . notes to chap ter 4 3. See Whitehead, Men and Masculinities; Reeser, Masculinities in Theory; Sabo, Kupers, and London, Prison Masculinities; Katz, Tough Guise; Bailey, Butch Queens Up in Pimps; Rios, “Consequences.” 4. See James W. Messerschmidt, “Masculinities, Crime, and Prison” in Sabo, Kupers, and London, Prison Masculinities, 67–72; Rios, “Consequences,” 125. 5. Dawley, Nation of Lords, 10. 6. Sabo, Kupers, and London, Prison Masculinities, 6. 7. Hagedorn, World of Gangs, xxxii. 8. Ibid., xxxii, 4. 9. Ibid., xxxii. 10. Ibid., 4. 11. See Connell, Masculinities; Wilson, Sphinx in the City; Kimmel, History of Men; McDowell, Gender, Identity and Place. 12. Muhammad, Condemnation of Blackness; Nagel, Race, Ethnicity, and Sexuality; Ross, Manning the Race. 13. Davis, City of Quartz, 298. 14. See Moore and Williams, Almighty Black P. Stone Nation; Hagedorn, World of Gangs. 15. Hagedorn, World of Gangs, xxiv. 16. Hagedorn, “Race Not Space,” 200. 17. Ibid., 199. 18. Moore and Williams, Almighty Black P. Stone Nation, 18. 19. Ibid., 20. See also Hagedorn, “Race Not Space,” 91. 20. Moore and Williams, Almighty Black P. Stone Nation, 9. 21. Ibid., 9–10. 22. Chepesiuk, Black Gangsters of Chicago, 126. 23. Ibid., 129. 24. Moore and Williams, Almighty Black P. Stone Nation, 10. 25. “Kettering Heir.” 26. Moore and Williams, Almighty Black P. Stone Nation, 14, 50, 52. 27. Davis, City of Quartz, 293. 28. Moore and Williams, Almighty Black P. Stone Nation, 28–29. 29. Wilkins, Aesthetics of Equity, 21. 30. Lipsitz, How Racism Takes Place, 51. Also see Tyner, Geography of Malcolm X, 54. 31. See McDowell, Gender, Identity, and Place; McKittrick, Demonic Ground; Wilson, Sphinx in the City. For a masculinities take on this, see Whitehead, Men and Masculinities, and Kimmel, History of Men. 32. Tyner, Geography of Malcolm X, 62. 33. Wilkins, Aesthetics of Equity. 34. See Conrad, Heart of Darkness; Brown, Frontiersman; Kerouac, On the Road; Bergreen, Columbus.
7/2/15 2:45 PM
notes to chap ter 4 · 135
35. See Shabazz, “Masculinity and the Mic.” 36. Ibid., 4. 37. Ibid., 4. 38. Hagedorn, World of Gangs, 53. 39. Quoted in Hagedorn, World of Gangs, 57. Also see Peralta, Crips and Bloods. 40. See Hagedorn, “Race Not Space”; Zilberg, Space of Detention; Peralta, Crips and Bloods. 41. See Wright, Native Son; Drake and Cayton, Black Metropolis, 570–76; Monroe and Goldman, Brothers. 42. hooks, We Real Cool, 85. 43. See Majors and Billson, Cool Pose; hooks, We Real Cool; Estes, I Am a Man!; Wallace, Constructing the Black Masculine; Belton, Speak My Name. 44. Whitehead, Men and Masculinities, 185. 45. Majors and Billson, Cool Pose, 28. 46. “Police Raid Stones’ Arsenal”; “U.S. to Probe”; “7 Stones Indicted in Cop Death;” “Black P. Stone Leader Seized”; “Jurors Indict Fort.” 47. Jacobs, Stateville. 48. Moore and Williams, Almighty Black P. Stone Nation. 49. Sabo, Kupers, and London, Prison Masculinities. 50. Seymour “Imprisoning Masculinity.” 51. Sabo, Kupers, and London, Prison Masculinities, 7. 52. Ibid., 7–8. 53. Martian and Jurik, Doing Justice, Doing Gender; Seymour, “Imprisoning Masculinity”; Sabo, Kupers, and London, Prison Masculinities. 54. Sabo, Kupers, and London, Prison Masculinities, 5. 55. See Jackson, Blood in My Eye; Jackson, Soledad Brother; Abu-Jamal, All Things Censored; Abu-Jamal, Live from Death Row; Abu-Jamal, We Want Freedom; AbuJamal, Death Blossoms; Sabo, Kupers, and London, Prison Masculinities. 56. SpearIt, “Raza Islamica”; Leonard, Muslims in the United States. 57. Leonard, Muslims in the United States, 176, 177, 179. 58. See X and Haley, Autobiography of Malcolm X; Leonard, Muslims in the United States. 59. SpearIt, “Raza Islamica.” 60. Ibid., 187. 61. Marable, Malcolm X. Also see Neal, New Black Man. 62. Moore and Williams, Almighty Black P. Stone Nation, 133–36. Also see Marable, Malcolm X. 63. See Sabo, Kupers, and London, Prison Masculinities; Mutua, Progressive Black Masculinities. 64. Moore and Williams, Almighty Black P. Stone Nation. 65. Jacobs, Stateville, 145. 66. See Marable, Malcolm X.
7/2/15 2:45 PM
136 . notes to chap ters 4 and 5 67. Moore and Williams, Almighty Black P. Stone Nation, 132. 68. “Black P. Stone Nation”; “Prison No Bar for Fort’s Leadership.” 69. Venkatesh, American Project; Jacobs, Stateville. 70. See James, Warfare in the American Homeland; Parenti, Lockdown America; Gilmore, Golden Gulag; Davis, Are Prisons Obsolete?; Wacquant, Prisons of Poverty; Wacquant, Punishing the Poor; Alexander, New Jim Crow; Mauer, Race to Incarcerate. 71. Benavie, Drugs. 72. Kitwana, Hip-Hop Generation. 73. Alexander, New Jim Crow. 74. Ibid. 75. Mauer, Race to Incarcerate. 76. Hagedorn, Race Not Space; Moore and Williams, Almighty Black P. Stone Nation, 96–99. 77. Chesney-Lind and Maur, Invisible Punishment. 78. Mauer, Race to Incarcerate, 1–2. 79. Collins, Black Sexual Politics, 90. 80. Miller, “Incarcerated Masculinities,” 157. 81. McKittrick, Demonic Grounds, xv. 82. See Whitehead, Men and Masculinities; Connell, Masculinities; Reeser, Masculinities in Theory. 83. Nast and Pile, Places through the Body, 42. 84. See Moore and Williams, Almighty Black P. Stone Nation.
Chapter 5. Ghost Mapping
1. “Inmate’s AIDS Death Prompts Check of Prisons.” 2. Ibid. 3. Street, “Vicious Circle,” 8. 4. Geary, Antiblack Racism, 23–26. 5. Adefuye et al., “Prevalence,” 1. 6. Laumann et al., Social Organization of Sexuality, 8–13. 7. “The New Face of HIV/AIDS: Black Women.” 8. Drucker, Plague of Prisons, 16. 9. Ibid., 13–14. 10. Ibid., 16. 11. Ibid., 16–17. 12. Illinois Department of Public Health, HIV/AIDS Section. 13. Benbow et al., “STI/HIV Surveillance Report,” 8. 14. Ibid., 8. 15. Casale, “Disparities,” 3–4. 16. Illinois Department of Public Health, “Mortality of AIDS.” 17. Craddock, City of Plagues; Sibley, Geographies of Exclusion.
7/2/15 2:45 PM
notes to chap ter 5 · 137
18. Craddock, City of Plagues, 8. 19. Adefuye et al., “Prevalence,” 1. 20. Drucker, Plague of Prisons, 33. 21. See Blankenship et al., “Black-White Disparities,” 143. 22. “Disease in Our Prisons and Asylums.” 23. Gordon, Ghostly Matters, xvi. 24. See Graham, Treadwell, and Braithwaite, “Social Policy”; Belenko, Shedlin, and Chaple, “HIV Risk Behaviors,” 109; Blankenship et al., “Black-White Disparities.” 25. Blankenship et al., “Black-White Disparities,” 140. 26. Braithwaite, Hammett, and Mayberry, Prisons and AIDS. 27. See Mauer, Race to Incarcerate; Alexander, New Jim Crow. 28. Alexander, New Jim Crow, 59. 29. Ibid. 30. Blankenship et al., “Black-White Disparities,” 142. 31. Mauer, Race to Incarcerate, 137. 32. See Braithwaite, Hammett, and Mayberry, Prisons and AIDS; “Out of Control: AIDS in Black America.” 33. Graham, Treadwell, and Braithwaite, “Social Policy,” 268; Blankenship et al., “Black-White Disparities,” 144. 34. Illinois Department of Public Health, “Gonorrhea Rates.” 35. Illinois Department of Public Health, “Reported AIDS Cases.” 36. Street, “Vicious Circle,” 11. 37. According to Blankenship, studies on the sex lives of men in prison are difficult, given the “unreliability of official prison sexual assault records, the social pressures that inhibit men’s ability to report same-sex behavior, the differences in sample size and populations that are studied, and the variety of ways in which researchers define sexual activity.” See, Blankenship et al., “Black-White Disparities,” 143. 38. A 2002 report by the HIV/AIDS Policy Research Institute at Chicago State University argues that tattooing was one of the major sources of in-prison transmission of the disease. See Adefuye et al., “Prevalence,” 143. 39. Blankenship et al. “Black-White Disparities,” 143; Braithwaite, Hammett, and Mayberry Prisons and AIDS; Adefuye et al., “Prevalence.” 40. Braithwaite, Hammett, and Mayberry, Prisons and AIDS, 11. 41. Ibid., 12. Also see Adefuye et al., “Prevalence.” 42. See “Out of Control.” 43. See Braithwaite, Hammett, and Mayberry, Prisons and AIDS; Gilbert, No Surrender. 44. “AIDS Top Killer in Prison.” 45. Blankenship et al., “Black-White Disparities,” 143. 46. “AIDS Top Killer in Prison.” 47. “AIDS Fear Flourishes in Prisions.” 48. “AIDS Top Killer in Prison.”
7/2/15 2:45 PM
138 . notes to chap ter 5 49. Illinois Department of Public Health, “Mortality of AIDS.” 50. Blankenship et al., “Black-White Disparities,” 141. 51. Illinois Department of Public Health, “Mortality of AIDS” and “Mortality of HIV Disease.” 52. Illinois Department of Public Health, “Mortality of AIDS.” 53. Alexander, New Jim Crow, 7; Street, “Vicious Circle,” 11–13. 54. Alexander, New Jim Crow, 184. 55. Bauer and Olson, “Trends in Illinois Drug Arrests,” 3. 56. Street, “Vicious Circle,” 11. 57. Ibid., 20. 58. See Alexander, New Jim Crow. 59. Braithwaite, Hammett, and Mayberry, Prisons and AIDS. 60. “AIDS Top Killer in Prison.” 61. Ibid. 62. Ibid. 63. Ibid. 64. Ibid. 65. Clear, Imprisoning Communities, 73. 66. AIDS Foundation of Chicago, “Addressing.” 67. Street, “Vicious Circle,” 28. 68. Clear, Imprisoning Communities, 9–10. 69. Ibid., 10. 70. Ibid., 9–10, 73–75. 71. Ibid., 73. 72. See Abiona, Balogun, and Adefuye, “State of Illinois African American HIV/ AIDS Response Act”; Blankenship et al, “Black-White Disparities.” 73. Gilbert, No Surrender, 125. 74. Craddock, City of Plagues, 8. 75. La Vigne et al., “Portrait of Prisoner Reentry in Illinois,” 27. 76. According the CDC, Black women are twenty-three times more like to be diagnosed with HIV than white women. See Centers for Disease Control, “HIV/AIDS among African Americans.” 77. Northwestern University School of Medicine, “HIV/AIDS Overview.” 78. Black AIDS Institute, “AIDS in Black America City Sheet, Chicago,” 4. 79. See “Out of Control.” 80. Census, “Ratio of Unmarried Men.” 81. Census, “Death Rates.” 82. Mauer and King, “Uneven Justice,” 2. 83. Laumann, et al., Social Organization of Sexuality. 84. For more on national statistics regarding sexual partners over a lifetime, see Laumann, et al., Social Organization of Sexuality. 85. Mosher, Chandra, and Jones, “Sexual Behavior.”
7/2/15 2:45 PM
notes to chap ter 5 and epilogue · 139
86. Laumann et al., Sexual Organization of the City. 87. Huffman and Monemvassitis, “The Age of AIDS.” 88. See “The Boundaries of Black Politics,” in Cohen, Boundaries of Blackness, 1–32. 89. Ibid., 8. 90. Ibid., 13. 91. Ibid., 13. 92. Ibid., 14. 93. Ibid., 14. 94. Ibid., 16. 95. Lipsitz, Possessive Investment in Whiteness, 67. 96. Cohen, Boundaries of Blackness, 18. 97. Ibid., 14. 98. “South Side Church.” 99. Cohen, Boundaries of Blackness, 256. 100. Ibid., 256. 101. Ibid., 63. 102. On silence, alienation, and AIDS, see Bailey, Butch Queens Up in Pimps; Riggs, Tongues Untied; Johnson and Henderson, Black Queer Studies; Leon and White, If We Have to Take Tomorrow; “Out of Control.” 103. It should also be stated that President George H. W. Bush and President Obama as well did not make any attempts to address the Black AIDS crisis. President Obama’s record on this is particularly disconcerting, given that he has roots in Chicago and lived in the city during the height of the Black AIDS crisis.
1. Dunkley, “Therapeutic Landscape”; Moran and Jewkes, “‘Green’ Prisons,” 349–50. 2. Dunkley, “Therapeutic Landscape.” 3. McCutcheon, “Returning Home,” 66. 4. Gallagher, “Good Food.” 5. Bellows, Brown, and Smit, “Health Benefits of Urban Agriculture,” 4. 6. Ibid., 6. 7. Lefebvre, Production of Space, 55.
7/2/15 2:45 PM
7/2/15 2:45 PM
Newspaper Articles “AIDS Fear Flourishes in Prisons.” Chicago Tribune, December 2, 1985. “AIDS Top Killer in Prison: 23 State Inmates Victims in 1993.” Chicago Tribune, May 2, 1994. “The Apartment House Problem.” Philadelphia Inquirer, 1904. “Black P. Stone Leader Seized in Hotel Raid.” Chicago Tribune, July 27, 1970. “Black P. Stone Nation Muscling into Drug Racket, Police Say.” Chicago Tribune, June 11, 1972. “Blacks Will Band to Wipe Out Vice.” Chicago Daily Tribune, August 17, 1908. “Captain Max Nootbaar: Retired Chicago Policeman Was ‘Most Cultured’ on Force.” New York Times, June 11, 1939. “Capt. Max Tightens the Lid.” Chicago Daily Tribune, October 14, 1916. “Capt. Nootbaar, Who Cleaned Up Levee Area, Dies.” Chicago Daily Tribune, June 10, 1939. “Center Fire on Vice Stronghold.” Logansport Journal, July 24, 1914. “CHA Building a Captive of Drug Dealers.” Chicago Tribune, June 12, 1989. “CHA Official Scoffs at ACLU Protest, Vows to Continue Raids.” Chicago Tribune, December 15, 1988. “CHA Police Pass Their 1st Tests.” Chicago Tribune, June 19, 1990. “Chicago Almost Has a Lynching.” Chicago Daily Tribune, January 31, 1915. “Cities Negro Duty in Chicago Belt.” Chicago Daily Tribune, August 22, 1912. “City Aroused, Probes Ordered after Chicago Tenement Fire Claims 10.” Chicago Defender, October 18, 1947. “Defied by Levee Hall.” Chicago Daily Tribune, July 25, 1914. “Dining Out with Kitchenless New York.” New York Times, January 25, 1925.
7/2/15 2:45 PM
142 . bibliogr aphy “Disease in Our Prisons and Asylums.” New York Times, January 13, 1886. “Dream of Progress Died Quickly at Taylor Homes.” Chicago Tribune, December 3, 1986. “Explains Capital Lynching.” Chicago Daily Tribune, 1908. “Finds Americans Are Outgrowing the Kitchenette.” Chicago Daily Tribune, April 29, 1926. “5 Die in Flaming Firetrap.” Chicago Defender, November 12, 1949. “Gunman Hired to Do Killing.” Evening Times, 1914 “How Slums Are Made.” Chicago Defender, December 1, 1951. “An Illinois Lynching.” New York Times, February 15, 1888. “Illinois Mob Hangs Negro.” Chicago Daily Tribune, June 7, 1903. “Inmate’s AIDS Death Prompts Check of Prisons.” Alton Telegraph, November 17, 1984. “In Praise of Kitchenettes.” New York Times, December 29, 1918. “In Woman’s Realm.” Wilkes-Barre Times-Leader, 1908. “Jurors Indict Fort, 17 Other Gang Members.” Chicago Tribune, January 30, 1970. “Kettering Heir Says He’s Stones’ Source of Funds.” Chicago Tribune, August 22, 1970. “Kitchenette Cooking: The Kitchenette Cookbook.” R. Taylor, New York Times, March 8, 1936. “Kitchenette Marketing No Longer Frowned Upon.” New York Times, March 23, 1913. “Kitchenettes Meet a Long Felt Need.” Boston Journal, 1903. “‘Lid’ a Joke as Pekin Shimmies Defiance of Law.” Chicago Daily Tribune, February 16, 1920. “Matters of Interest to Women: Some Points Worth Knowing about Living . . .” New York Times, 1912. “Moving Not Easy for CHA Tenants: Many Landlords Hesitant to Rent.” Chicago Tribune, July 1, 2002. “National Fight on Crime Favored.” Chicago Daily Tribune, August 24, 1908. “Negro Migration Poses Big Housing Problem.” Chicago Daily Tribune, May 5, 1956. “The New Face of HIV/AIDS: Black Women.” Chicago Tribune, December 1, 2005. “Nootbaar Bares Flagrant Vice in ‘Tan’ Cafes.” Chicago Daily Tribune, November 16, 1917. “Nootbaar Goes Back to Levee in New Shakeup.” Chicago Daily Tribune, October 8, 1916. “Plans Canvass to Banish Vice.” Chicago Daily Tribune, October 9, 1916. “Police Raid Stones’ Arsenal, Arrest 7.” Chicago Tribune, February 13, 1971. “Police Shakeup Foreruns War on Vice Huts.” Chicago Daily Tribune, February 16, 1916. “Prison No Bar for Fort’s Leadership.” Chicago Tribune, December 19, 1983. “Prominent Speakers to Discuss So. Side Housing.” Chicago Defender, September 12, 1936. “Race War Rages; 2 Die; Many Shot.” Chicago Daily Tribune, July 26, 1903. “Ranchers Surrender to Kitchenetters.” Boston Daily Globe, April 24, 1927. “Save the CHA’s Clean Sweep.” Chicago Tribune, December 17, 1987.
7/2/15 2:45 PM
bibliogr aphy · 143
“Says Kitchenette Mars Family Life.” New York Times, October 18, 1924. “Seven Dead, Many Hurt in Springfield Race War.” Monticello Express, 1908. “7 Stones Indicted in Cop Death.” Chicago Tribune, September 4, 1970. “South Side Church Leads Local Charge.” Chicago Tribune, March 27, 2012. “Step Out of Vice, Aim of Negroes.” Chicago Daily Tribune, August 18, 1908. “Story of City’s Big Problem: Negro Housing.” Chicago Daily Tribune, December 30, 1949. “Suit Filed over CHA Searches.” Chicago Tribune, December 17, 1988. “Taylor Homes Hit with Iron Fist.” Chicago Tribune, March 31, 1994. “30 Are Arrested in CHI Drug Sting.” Chicago Tribune, June 8, 1995. “Trude Makes Secret Check of Vice Zones.” Chicago Daily Tribune, March 7, 1923. “24 Arrests in Gang War at Complex.” Chicago Tribune, September 9, 1992. “U.S. to Probe How Stones Spent Grant.” Chicago Tribune, September 10, 1970. “Young Business Men Want Kitchenettes.” Washington Post, February 27, 1927.
Books and Periodicals Abiona, T. C., J. A. Balogun, and A. S. Adefuye. “State of Illinois African American HIV/AIDS Response Act: Phase Two Report on the Mandated Study Investigating the Correlation between Incarceration and HIV Infection.” Chicago: Chicago State University, 2009. Abu-Jamal, M. All Things Censored. New York: Seven Stories, 2000. ———. Death Blossoms: Reflections from a Prisoner of Conscience. Farmington, Pa.: Plough, 1997. ———. Live from Death Row. Reading, Pa.: Addison-Wesley, 1995. ———. We Want Freedom: A Life in the Black Panther Party. Cambridge, Mass.: South End, 2004. Adefuye, A. S., T. C. Abiona, J. A. Balogun, and P. E. Sloan. “Prevalence of HighRisk HIV Transmission Behaviors in Illinois Prisons: A Cross-Sectional Survey.” Phase 1 Research Study Report Submitted to the State of Illinois General Assembly. Chicago: Chicago State University, College of Health Sciences, September 2008. Agamben, G. State of Exception. Translated by Kevin Attell. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2005. AIDS Foundation of Chicago. “Addressing the Intersection of HIV/AIDS and Prisons.” Chicago, 2005. AIDS Project Los Angeles, et al. If We Have to Take Tomorrow: HIV, Black Men, and Same Sex Desire. Los Angeles: AIDS Project Los Angeles, 2006. Alexander, M. The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness. New York: New Press, 2010. Alexander, M. J. Pedagogies of Crossing: Meditations on Feminism, Sexual Politics, Memory, and the Sacred. Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 2005. Bailey, M. M. Butch Queens Up in Pimps: Gender Performance and Ballroom Culture in Detroit. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan, 2013.
7/2/15 2:45 PM
144 . bibliogr aphy Baldwin, J. Conversations with James Baldwin. Jackson: University of Mississippi Press, 1989. ———. Notes of a Native Son. Boston: Beacon, 1995. Bauer, R., and D. Olson. “Trends in Illinois Drug Arrests.” Chicago: Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority, 1999. Belenko, S. R., M. Shedlin, and M. Chaple. “HIV Risk Behaviors, Knowledge, and Prevention Service Experiences among African American and Other Offenders. Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved 16 (2005): 108–28. Bellows, A. C., K. Brown, and J. Smit. “Health Benefits of Urban Agriculture.” Portland, Ore.: Community Food Security’s Coalition on Urban Agriculture, 2003. Belton, D. Speak My Name: Black Men on Masculinity and the American Dream. Boston: Beacon, 1995. Benavie, A. Drugs: America’s Holy War. New York: Routledge, 2008. Benbow, N., J. Blumenstock, M. Eaglin, C. Murray, I. Tabidze, S. Townsell, and C. Brown. “Healthy Chicago: STI/HIV Surveillance Report.” Chicago: Chicago Department of Public Health, 2011. Bergreen, L. 2012. Columbus: The Four Voyages, 1492–1504. New York: Penguin, 2012. Black AIDS Institute. 2009. “AIDS in Black America City Sheet: Chicago, Illinois.” Chicago: BAI. Blankenship, K. M., A. Smoyer, S. J. Bray, K. Mattocks, “Black-White Disparities in HIV/AIDS: The Role of Drug Policy and the Corrections System.” Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved 16 (November 2005): 140–56. Bowly, J. D. The Poorhouse: Subsidized Housing in Chicago, 1895–1976. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1978. Braithwaite, R. L., T. Hammett, and R. Mayberry. Prisons and AIDS. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1996. Brodkin, K. How Jews Became White Folks and What That Says about Race in America. New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press, 1998. Brooks, G. Blacks. Chicago: Third World, 1987. ———. Maud Martha: A Novel. New York: AMS, 1974. Brown, F. L. Trumbull Park. Lebanon, N.H.: Northeastern University Press, 1959. Brown, M. M. Frontiersman: Daniel Boone and the Making of America. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2008. Carby, H. V. “‘It Jus Be’s Dat Way Some Time’: The Sexual Politics of Women’s Blues.” Radical America 20 (1986): 9–25. ———. “Policing the Black Woman’s Body in the Urban Context.” Critical Inquiry 18 (1992): 738–55. Casale, R. C. “Disparities in Health Care Quality among Racial and Ethnic Minority Groups: Selected Findings from the 2010 National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Reports.” Rockville, Md.: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, 2011. Census, U.S. 1900. “Total Annual Wages by Sex (Wage Workers 16 Years Old and Over in Manufacturing).” Social Explorer (www.socialexplorer.com).
7/2/15 2:45 PM
bibliogr aphy · 145
———. 1920. “Measuring America: The Decennial Censuses from 1790 to 2000.” Washington, D.C.: U.S. Census. ———. 1930. “Measuring America: The Decennial Censuses from 1790 to 2000.” Washington, D.C.: U.S. Census. ———. 1940. “Race Universe: Total Population.” Washington, D.C.: U.S. Census. ———. 2000. “Ratio of Unmarried Men per 100 Unmarried Women for the Population 15 Years and Over by Metropolitan Areas in the United States and Puerto Rico.” Washington, D.C.: U.S. Census. ———. 2012. “Death Rates by Age, Sex, and Race: 1950 to 2008.” Washington, D.C.: U.S. Census. Centers for Disease Control. “HIV/AIDS among African Americans.” Atlanta: CDC, 2007. Chepesiuk, R. Black Gangsters of Chicago. Fort Lee, N.J.: Barricade, 2007. Chesney-Lind, M., and M. Maur, eds. Invisible Punishment: The Collateral Consequences of Mass Imprisonment. New York: New Press, 2003. Chicago Housing Authority. “Bulletin of the Chicago Housing Authority.” Regarding kitchenettes. In The Electronic Encyclopedia of Chicago. Available at http://www .encyclopedia.chicagohistory.org/pages/10875.html and http://www.encyclopedia .chicagohistory.org/pages/10874.html (accessed December 10, 2014). Childs, E. C. Navigating Interracial Borders: Black-White Couples and Their Social Worlds. New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press, 2005. Clear, T. R. Imprisoning Communities: How Mass Incarceration Makes Disadvantaged Neighborhoods Worse. New York: Oxford University Press, 2007. Clement, E. “From Sociability to Spectacle: Interracial Sexuality and the Ideological Uses of Space in New York City, 1900–1930.” Journal of International Women’s Studies 6 (2005): 24–42. Cohen, C. The Boundaries of Blackness. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1999. ———. “Punks, Bulldaggers, and Welfare Queens: The Radical Potential of Queer Politics?” In Johnson and Henderson, Black Queer Studies, 21–51. Collins, P. H. Black Sexual Politics: African Americans, Gender, and the New Racism. New York: Routledge, 2004. Connell, R. W. Masculinities. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2005. Conrad, J. The Heart of Darkness. 1899. New York: Penguin, 2007. Craddock, S. City of Plagues: Disease, Poverty, and Deviance in San Francisco. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2000. Crampton, J. W., and S. Elden. Space, Knowledge, and Power: Foucault and Geography. Burlington: Ashgate, 2007. Cran, W., R. Simone, and G. Barker. “The Age of AIDS.” Frontline documentary. Boston: PBS/WGBH, 2006. Darden, J. T., R. C. Hill, J. Thomas, and R. Thomas. Detroit: Race and Uneven Development. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1987. Davis, A. Y. Angela Davis: An Autobiography. New York: Random House, 1974.
7/2/15 2:45 PM
146 . bibliogr aphy ———. Are Prisons Obsolete? New York: Seven Stories, 2003. ———. Blues Legacies and Black Feminism: Gertrude “Ma” Rainey, Bessie Smith, and Billie Holiday. New York: Pantheon, 1998. ———. The Prison Industrial Complex. San Francisco: AK Press Audio, 1999. Davis, M. City of Quartz: Excavating the Future in Los Angeles. New York: Vintage, 1992. Dawley, D. A Nation of Lords: The Autobiography of the Vice Lords. Prospect Heights, Ill.: Waveland, 1992. Delaney, D. Race, Place, and the Law, 1836–1948. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1998. DeLyser, D., S. Herbert, S. Aitken, M. Crang, and L. McDowell. The SAGE Handbook of Qualitative Geography. Los Angeles: Sage, 2010. Dixon, M. Ride Out the Wilderness: Geography and Identity in Afro-American Literature. Champaign: University of Illinois Press, 1987. Drake, St. C., and H. R. Cayton. Black Metropolis: A Study of Negro Life in a Northern City. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1945. Drucker, E. A Plague of Prisons: The Epidemiology of Mass Incarceration in America. New York: New Press, 2011. Du Bois, W. E. B. Black Reconstruction in America 1860–1880. 1935. New York: Atheneum, 1992. ———. The Souls of Black Folk. New York: Dover, 1994. Dunkley, C. M. “A Therapeutic Taskscape: Theorizing Place-Making, Discipline and Care at a Camp for Troubled Youth.” Health and Place 15 (2009): 88–96. During, S. The Cultural Studies Reader. New York: Routledge, 2007. Equiano, O. The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano; or Gustavus Vassa, The African. 1789. New York: Simon and Brown, 2012. Estes, S. I Am a Man! Race, Manhood, and the Civil Rights Movement. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina, 2005. Fanon, F. The Wretched of the Earth. 1961. New York: Grove Weidenfeld, 1991. Ferguson, R. A. Aberrations in Black. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota, 2004. ———. “Race-ing Homonormativity: Citizenship, Sociology, and Gay Identity.” In Johnson and Henderson, Black Queer Studies, 52–67. Flinn, J. J., and J. E. Wilkie. History of the Chicago Police. Chicago: Arno, 1887. Foucault, M. Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison. New York: Pantheon, 1977. ———. The History of Sexuality. Vol. 1. New York: Vintage, 1990. ———. Security, Territory, Population. New York: Palgrave, 2007. Fullilove, M. T. Root Shock: How Tearing up City Neighborhoods Hurts America, and What We Can Do about It. New York: One World/Ballantine, 2004. Gallagher, Mari. “Good Food: Examining the Impact of Food Deserts on Public Health in Chicago.” Chicago: Gallagher Research and Consulting, 2006. Geary, A. M. Antiblack Racism and the AIDS Epidemic: State Intimacies. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014. Gilbert, D. No Surrender: Writings from an Anti-Imperialist Political Prisoner. Montreal: Guillen, 2004.
7/2/15 2:45 PM
bibliogr aphy · 147
Gilmore, R. W. “Fatal Couplings of Power and Difference.” Professional Geographer 54 (2002): 15–24. ———. Golden Gulag: Prisons, Surplus, Crisis, and Opposition in Globalizing California. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2007. Glaze, L. E., and E. J. Herberman. “Correctional Populations in the United States, 2012.” Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Justice, 2013. Goldberger, P. Why Architecture Matters. New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 2009. Gordon, A. Ghostly Matters: Haunting and the Sociological Imagination. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1997. Graham, L. F., H. M. Treadwell, and K. Braithwaite. “Social Policy, Imperiled Communities, and HIV/AIDS Transmission in Prisons: A Call for Zero Tolerance.” Journal of Men’s Health 5 (2008): 267–73. Griffin, F. J. “Who Set You Flowin’?”: The African American Migration Narrative. New York: Oxford University Press, 1995. Grosz, E. “Bodies-Cities.” In Nast and Pile, Places through the Body, 42–51. Hagedorn, J. M. “Race Not Space: A Revisionist History of Gangs in Chicago.” Journal of African American History 91 (2006): 194–208. ———. A World of Gangs. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota, 2008. Hale, G. E. Making Whiteness: The Culture Segregation in The South, 1890—1940. New York: Pantheon, 1998. Hall, D. I. A Case of Genocide: The Robert Taylor Housing Projects. Vol. 84.5 of Technical Reports. Chicago: Voorhees Center for Neighborhood and Community Development at the University of Illinois, Chicago, 1984. Hansberry, L. A Raisin in the Sun. New York: Vintage, 1958. Hartman, S. V. Scenes of Subjection. New York: Oxford, 1997. Harvey, D. Social Justice and the City. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2009. Heap, C. C. Slumming: Sexual and Racial Encounters in American Nightlife, 1885–1940. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2009. Hirsch, A. Making the Second Ghetto: Race and Housing in Chicago 1940–1960. Historical Studies of Urban America. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1998. hooks, b. We Real Cool. New York: Routledge, 2000. ———. Yearning: Race, Gender, and Cultural Politics. Boston: South End, 1999. Ignatiev, N. How the Irish Became White. New York: Routledge, 2008. Illinois Department of Public Health. “Gonorrhea Rates by Illinois County, 1990– 1999.” In Illinois Department of Public Health—Health Statistics. Springfield: Illinois DPH, 2010. Illinois Department of Public Health. Illinois Department of Public Health Office of Health Protection, HIV/AIDS Section, 2013. Illinois Department of Public Health. “Mortality of AIDS for Death Year.” Springfield: Illinois DPH, 2010. Illinois Department of Public Health. “Mortality of HIV Disease for Death Year.” Springfield: Illinois DPH, 2010.
7/2/15 2:45 PM
148 . bibliogr aphy Illinois Department of Public Health. “Reported AIDS Cases, 1990–1999.” In Illinois Department of Public Health, HIV/AIDS, Surveillance Unit. Springfield, Ill. Inwood, J. “Geographies of Race in the American South: The Continuing Legacies of Jim Crow Segregation. Southeastern Geographer 51 (2011): 564–77. Jackson, G. Blood in My Eye. New York: Random House, 1972. ———. Soledad Brother: The Prison Letters of George Jackson. Chicago: Lawrence Hill, 1994. Jacobs, J. B. Stateville: The Penitentiary in Mass Society. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1977. Jacobson, M. F. Whiteness of a Different Color: European Immigrants and the Alchemy of Race. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1999. James, J. The Angela Y. Davis Reader. Malden, Mass.: Blackwell, 1998. ———. Imprisoned Intellectuals: America’s Political Prisoners Write on Life, Liberation, and Rebellion. Lanham, Md.: Rowman and Littlefield, 2003. ———, ed. The New Abolitionists: (Neo)slave Narratives and Contemporary Prison Writings. Albany: State University of New York Press, 2005. ———. Resisting State Violence: Radicalism, Gender, and Race in U.S. Culture. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. 1996. ———. Warfare in the American Homeland. Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 2007. Johnson, C. Negro Housing: Report of the Committee on Negro Housing. The President’s Conference on Home Building and Home Owenrship. Washington, D.C.: National Capital Press, 1932. Available at https://archive.org/stream/negrohousing repo00presrich/negrohousingrepo00presrich_djvu.txt (accessed December 10, 2014). Johnson, E. P., and M. G. Henderson, eds. Black Queer Studies: A Critical Anthology. Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 2005. Johnson, S. The Ghost Map. New York: Riverhead, 2006. Katz, J. Tough Guise: Violence, Media, and the Crisis in Masculinity. Documentary. Media Education, 1991 Kelly, A. “State Initiatives Address HIV, Sexuality Transmitted Diseases among Prisoners.” Stateline Midwest, July/August 2010. Kerouac, J. On the Road. 1957. New York: Penguin, 2012. Kimmel, M. S. The History of Men: Essays in the History of American and British Masculinities. Albany: State University of New York Press, 2005. Kinnamon, K. New Essays on Native Son. Cambridige: Cambridge University Press, 1990. Kirby, K. M. Indifferent Boundaries: Spatial Concepts of Human Subjectivity. New York, N.Y.: Guilford, 1996. Kitwana, B. The Hip-Hop Generation. New York: Basic/Civitas, 2003. Laumann, E. O., S. Ellingson, J. Mahay, A. Paik, and Y. Youm, eds. The Sexual Organization of the City. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2004.
7/2/15 2:45 PM
bibliogr aphy · 149
Laumann, E. O., J. H. Gagnon, R. T. Michael, and S. Michaels. The Social Organization of Sexuality: Sexual Practices in the United States. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1994. La Vigne, N. G., C. A. Mamalian, J. Travis, and C. Visher. “A Portrait of Prisoner Reentry in Illinois.” Research report. Washington, D.C.: Urban Institute. Lefebvre, H. The Production of Space. Cambridge, Mass.: Blackwell, 1991. Leonard, K. I. Muslims in the United States. New York: Sage, 2003. Levenson, J. The Secret Epidemic. New York: Pantheon, 2004. Lipsitz, G. How Racism Takes Place. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2011. ———. The Possessive Investment in Whiteness: How White People Profit from Identity Politics. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2006. ———. “The Racialization of Space and the Spatialization of Race.” Landscape Architecture 26 (2007): 10–23. Loyd, J. M., M. Mitchelson, and A. Burridge. Beyond Walls and Cages: Prisons, Borders, and Global Crisis. Geographies of Justice and Social Transformation. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2012. “Lynching by State and Race, 1882–1968.” In The Rise and Fall of Jim Crow. Public Broadcasting Corporation, 2002. Interactive map available at http://www.pbs.org/ wnet/jimcrow/themap/index.html (accessed December 10, 2014). Majors, R., and J. M. Billson. Cool Pose: The Dilemmas of Black Manhood in America. New York: Macmillan, 1992. Marable, M. Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention. New York: Viking, 2011. Martin, S. E., and Jurik, N. Doing Justice, Doing Gender: Women in Legal and Criminal Justice Occupations. Thousand Oaks, Calif.: Sage, 2006. Marx, K. Capital: A Critique of Political Economy. 1867. New York: Vintage, 1977. Massey, D. S. American Apartheid: Segregation and the Making of the Underclass. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1993. Mauer, M. Race to Incarcerate. New York: New Press, 2006. Mauer, M., and R. S. King. “Uneven Justice: State Rates of Incarceration by Race and Ethnicity.” Washington, D.C.: Sentencing Project, 2007. McCutcheon, P. “‘Returning Home to Our Rightful Place’: The Nation of Islam and Muhammad Farms.” Geoforum 49 (2013): 61–70. McDowell, L. Gender, Identity and Place: Understanding Feminist Geographies. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1999. McIlwraith, T. F., and E. K. Muller. North America: The Historical Geography of a Changing Continent. New York: Rowman and Littlefield, 2011. McKittrick, K. Demonic Grounds: Black Women and the Cartographies of Struggle. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2006. ———. On Plantations, Prisons, and Black Sense of Place. Social and Cultural Geography 12 (2011): 947–63. McKittrick, K., and C. Woods. Black Geographies and the Politics of Place. Boston: South End, 2007.
7/2/15 2:45 PM
150 . bibliogr aphy Melsness, D. with D. R. Weichelt. “Geographical Crime Displacement: The Robert Taylor Homes and Englewood.” Presented at the 18th Annual University of Wisconsin—Eau Claire Student Research Day, April 26–28, 2010. Miller, T. A. “Incarcerated Masculinities.” In Mutua, Progressive Black Masculinities, 155–74. Mogul, J. L., A. J. Ritchie, and K. Whitlock. Queer (In)Justice: The Criminalization of LGBT People in the United States. Boston: Beacon Street, 2011. Monroe, S., and P. Goldman. Brothers: Black and Poor; A True Story of Courage and Survival. New York: Ballantine, 1988. Moore, N. Y., and L. Williams. The Almighty Black P. Stone Nation. Chicago: Lawrence Hill, 2011. Moran, D., and Jewkes, Y. “‘Green’ Prisons: Rethinking the ‘Sustainability’ of the Carceral Estate.” Geographica Helvetica 69 (2014): 345–53. Mosher, W. D., A. Chandra, and J. Jones. “Sexual Behavior and Selected Health Measures: Men and Women 15–44 Years of Age, United States, 2002.” Hyattsville, Md.: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2005. Muhammad, K. G. The Condemnation of Blackness: Race, Crime, and the Making of Modern Urban America. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2010. Mumford, K. J. Interzones: Black/White Sex Districts in Chicago and New York in the Early Twentieth Century. New York: Columbia University Press, 1997. Mutua, A. D., ed. Progressive Black Masculinities. New York: Routledge, 2006. Nagel, J. Race, Ethnicity, and Sexuality: Intimate Intersections, Forbidden Frontiers. New York: Oxford University Press, 2003. Nast, H. J. “Mapping the ‘Unconscious’: Racism and the Oedipal Family.” Annals of the Association of American Geographers 2 (2000): 215. Nast, H. J., and S. Pile, eds. Places through the Body. London: Routledge, 1998. Neal, M. A. The New Black Man. New York: Routledge, 2006. Neri, G. Yummy: The Last Days of Southside Shorty. New York: Lee and Low, 2010. Northwestern University School of Medicine. “HIV/AIDS Overview.” Chicago: Northwestern University School of Medicine, 2011. Omi, M., and H. Winant. Racial Formation in the United States: From the 1960s to the 1990s. New York: Routledge, 1994. “Out of Control: AIDS in Black America.” Documentary. ABC News/Primetime, August 24, 2006. Pacyga, D. A. Chicago: A Biography. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2009. Parenti, C. Lockdown America: Police and Prisons in the Age of Crisis. New York: Verso, 2000. Peralta, S. Crips and Bloods: Made in America. Documentary. Verso Entertainment, 2009. Pinar, W. F. The Gender of Racial Politics of Violence in America: Lynching, Prison Rape, and The Crisis of Masculinity. New York: Peter Lang, 2001. Plato. The Last Days of Socrates. New York: Penguin, 2003.
7/2/15 2:45 PM
bibliogr aphy · 151
Plotkin, W. “Kitchenettes.” In The Electronic Encyclopedia of Chicago, Chicago Historical Society, 2005. Available at http://www.encyclopedia.chicagohistory.org/ pages/692.html (accessed December 10, 2014). Pounder et al. Race: The Power of an Illusion. 3 episodes. San Francisco: California Newsreel, 2003. Reeser, T. W. Masculinities in Theory. Malden, Mass.: Wiley-Blackwell, 2010. Richie, B. Arrested Justice: Black Women, Violence, and America’s Prison Nation. New York: New York University Press, 2012. ———. Compelled to Crime: The Gender Entrapment of Battered Black Women. New York: Routledge, 1999. Riggs, M. Tongues Untied. Documentary. San Francisco: Frameline, 2007. Rios, V. “The Consequences of the Criminal Justice Pipeline on Black and Latino Masculinity.” Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 2009. Robinson, C. J. Black Marxism: The Making of the Black Radical Tradition. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2000. Rodriguez, D. Forced Passages: Imprisoned Radical Intellectuals and the U.S. Prison Regime. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota, 2006. Roediger, D. R. The Wages of Whiteness: Race and the Making of the American Working Class. London: Verso, 1991. ———. Working toward Whiteness: How America’s Immigrants Became White; The Strange Journey from Ellis Island to the Suburbs. New York: Basic, 2005. Ross, M. B. Manning the Race: Reforming Black Men in the Jim Crow Era. New York: New York University Press, 2004. Sabo, D. F., T. A. Kupers, and W. J. London, eds. Prison Masculinities. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2001. Salih, S. The Judith Butler Reader. Hoboken, N.J.: Wiley-Blackwell, 2004. “Selected Findings from the 2010 National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Reports.” Rockville, Md.: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Sentencing Project. Racial Disparity. Washington, D.C.: Sentencing Project, 2001. Seymour, K. “Imprisoning Masculinity.” Sexuality and Culture 7 (2003): 27–55. Shabazz, R. “Masculinity and the Mic: Confronting the Uneven Geography of HipHop.” Gender, Place, and Culture 21 (2014): 370–86. Shakur, A. Assata: An Autobiography. Westport, Conn.: Hill, 2001. ———. “Women in Prison: Who Are We?” In James, New Abolitionists, 79–91. Sibley, D. Geographies of Exclusion: Societies and Difference in the West. London: Routledge, 1995. Simon, J. Governing through Crime: How the War on Crime Transformed American Democracy and Created a Culture of Fear. New York: Oxford University Press, 2007. Sinclair, U. The Jungle. 1906. New York: Norton, 2002. Smith, N. Uneven Development: Nature, Capital, and the Production of Space. New York: Blackwell, 1984.
7/2/15 2:45 PM
152 . bibliogr aphy SpearIt. “Raza Islamica: Prisons, Hip Hop, and Converting Converts.” Berkeley La Raza Law Journal 22 (2013): 175–201. Stanley, E. A., and N. Smith. Captive Genders: Trans Embodiment and the Prison Industrial Complex. Oakland: AK, 2011. Street, D. P. “The Vicious Circle: Race, Prison, Jobs, and Community in Chicago, Illinois, and the Nation.” Report. Chicago: Chicago Urban League, 2002. Sudbury, J. Global Lockdown: Race, Gender, and the Prison-Industrial Complex. New York: Routledge, 2005. Sugrue, T. J. The Origins of the Urban Crisis: Race and Inequality in Postwar Detroit. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1996. Truman, H. S. “Annual Message to the Congress on the State of the Union.” 1949. American Presidency Project. Available at http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/ index.php?pid=13293 (accessed December 10, 2014). Tyner, J. A. American Project: The Rise and Fall of a Modern Ghetto. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2000. ———. The Geography of Malcolm X : Black Radicalism and the Remaking of American Space. New York: Routledge, 2006. ———. Off the Books: The Underground Economy of the Urban Poor. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2006. Visher, C., N. G. La Vigne, and J. Farrell. Illinois Prisoners’ Reflections on Returning Home. Washington, D.C.: Urban Institute, 2003. Wacquant, L. Prisons of Poverty. Minneapolis: University of Minnesotta Press, 2009. ———. Punishing the Poor: The Neoliberal Government of Social Insecurity. Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 2009. Wallace, M. O. Constructing the Black Masculine: Identity and Ideality in African American Men’s Literature and Culture, 1775–1995. Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 2002. Washington, S. H. Packing Them In: An Archaeology of Environmental Racism in Chicago, 1865—1954. Oxford: Lexington, 2005. Weizman, E. Hollow Land: Israel’s Architecture of Occupation. London: Verso, 2007. Whitehead, S. Men and Masculinities. Malden, Mass.: Polity, 2002. Wilkins, C. L. The Aesthetics of Equity: Notes on Race, Space, Architecture, and Music. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2007. Williams, K. Our Enemies in Blue: Police and Power in America. Boston: South End, 2007. Wilson, D. Race and Cities: America’s New Black Ghetto. New York: Routledge, 2007. Wilson, E. The Sphinx in the City: Urban Life, the Control of Disorder, and Women. Berkeley: University of California, 1991. Winant, H. 2004. The New Politics of Race. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. Wright, R. Native Son. 1940. New York: Harper Perennial Modern Classics, 2005.
7/2/15 2:45 PM
bibliogr aphy · 153
———. The Richard Wright Reader. Edited by Ellen Wright and Michel Fabre. New York: Da Capo, 1978. ———. 12 Million Black Voices. New York: Basic, 1941. X, M., and A. Haley. The Autobiography of Malcolm X. New York: Ballantine, 1964. Zilberg, E. Space of Detention: The Making of a Transnational Gang Crisis between Los Angeles and San Salvador. Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 2011.
7/2/15 2:45 PM
7/2/15 2:45 PM
agriculture, urban, 116–18 Alexander, Michelle, 3 Ali, Noble Drew, 88 American Hunger, 32 Angela Davis: An Autobiography, 114 Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986, 91 Baldwin, James, 11, 31 “Big Boy Leaves Home,” 42 Birns, Stanley J., 13 Black American Muslims, 86–90 Black Belt. See Chicago’s Black Belt Black Boy, 42 Black Disciples gang, 76 Black gangs, 76–77; carceral space and, 78– 79; Islam and, 86–90; prison masculinity and, 77–78, 90–93; rise of, 79–83; Stone masculinity and, 83–85 Black geographies, 3–4; carceral power and, 4–7, 51, 69, 71; within home space, 33; seen as signifier of difference, 16–17; spatial empowerment and, 82; war on drugs and, 102–3 Black liberals, 27–30 Black masculinity, 2, 77. See also Black gangs; carceral power and, 8–9; coercive mobility and, 106–8; definitions in, 121– 22nn19–20; embodied performance and, 93–95, 129n110; escape from kitchenettes
and, 51–53; in prison, 85–86; race theories and, 23–25; regulating, 19–21; spatial empowerment and, 82; urban space of kitchenettes and, 53–54 Black Metropolis, 11 Black middle class, 27–30, 125–26n92, 125n90 Black Nationalism, 32 Black politics and HIV/AIDS, 109–12 Black Power movement, 89 Black Radical tradition, 31–32 Blacks, 76 Blackstone Rangers, 77, 79–83, 89, 91, 93, 96; masculinity, 83–85; prison masculinity and, 85–86 Blankenship, K. M., 102, 137n37 Bourdieu, Pierre, 9 Braithwaite, Ronald, 97 Bray Temple Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, 111 Brooks, Gwendolyn, 52–53, 76 Bush, George H. W., 139n103 Butler, Judith, 129n110 Byrne, Jane, 66–68 Carby, Hazel, 27, 28 carceral, the, 57–58; Foucault on, 5; geography of slavery and, 6; spatial aspect of, 52, 56, 77, 78–79
7/2/15 2:45 PM
156 . inde x carceral power, 2, 3, 94; in the Black Belt, 13–15, 30; Black gangs and, 78–79; black geographies and, 4–7; black masculinity and, 8–9; black readings of, 7; constructing whiteness and, 17–19; entry into the Black Belt in Chicago, 11–12; housing projects and (See Housing); Illinois Department of Corrections and, 73, 97–98, 103; kitchenettes as, 33, 49–51; policing as, 11–12; prison industrial complex and, 71–74 Carson, Eugene R., 23 Cayton, Horace R., 11, 24, 34, 41 Centralia Correctional Center, 98 Chicago Daily Tribune, 12, 39 Chicago Defender, 39, 42 Chicago Housing Authority, 56, 57, 63–68, 73, 74 Chicago’s Black Belt, 1–2; changing geography of Chicago and, 114–19; geography of interracial social space in, 15–17; HIV/ AIDS in (See HIV/AIDS); housing in (See Housing); interracial mixing in, 12–15; migration to, 2, 30, 40, 80; police power in, 11–12, 13–15, 17–19, 26–27, 30; rise of gangs around, 79–83 cholera, 99–101 churches and HIV/AIDS, 110–11 Clear, Todd, 106 Clinton, Bill, 112 coercive mobility, 106–8 Cohen, C., 111 Collins, Patricia Hill, 94–95 Communism, 125n74 Comprehensive Crime Control Act, 91 containment, geography of, 85–86, 115–16 Conversations with James Baldwin, 11 Conway, Marsh Eddie, 74 Craddock, Susan, 107 crime: growth in Chicago, 96; housing and, 64–68, 70–71, 73, 131n39; kitchenettes and, 33–34, 54; social science scholarship on, 23; war on drugs and, 91–92 Critical Resistance, 57 Daley, Richard J., 79, 89 Davis, Angela Y., 57, 72, 114, 119 Davis, Mike, 71 Deacons, the, 79 Dean, Shavon, 76
defensible space, 66–67 Delaney, David, 21 Demonic Grounds, 1 Disciples, the, 81 Discipline and Punish, 1, 5, 21, 49 Dixon, Melvin, 32, 33, 45 Donnegan, William, 22 Drake, St. Clair, 11, 24, 34, 41 Du Bois, W. E. B., 7, 20–21, 28–29, 57 Elder, Glen S., 4 Ellingson, S., 99 El Rukns, 90, 91, 95 embodied performance, 93–95, 129n110 Equiano, Olaudah, 6 eugenics movement, 23 existentialism, 32 Federal Crime Bill of 1994, 92 Federal Housing Association (FHA), 60 Five-Percent Nation, 87 food security, 116–17 Fort, Jeff, 80, 81, 83–84, 85, 95, 96; Islam and, 87–91 Foucault, Michel, 1, 2, 5–6, 21, 49, 51, 69, 132n49 “Future of the Colored Race in the United States from an Ethnic and Medical Standpoint, The,” 23 gang Intelligence Unit (GIU), 85, 93 gangs, Black, 76–77; carceral space and, 78– 79; Islam and, 86–90; prison masculinity and, 77–78, 90–93; rise of, 79–83; Stone masculinity and, 83–85 Geary, Adam M., 99 gender: consequences of Black containment, 43–44; and escape in the kitchenette, 51–53; gendered punishment and, 33–34; grammar of man and, 86–90; historical geographies of, 3–4; identity production, 2; intersection of race, sex, place, and, 1, 94–96; lynching and, 21; prison masculinity and, 85–86, 93; sexual politics and, 28 gender performance, 3, 77, 82, 129n110; by Black men, 7, 8–9, 77–79, 84, 122n20 gentrification, 115 geography: Chicago’s changing, 114–19; of containment, 85–86, 115–16; historical, 3–4; HIV/AIDS and, 98–99; of interracial
7/2/15 2:45 PM
inde x · 157 social space in Chicago, 15–17; literary, 31–34; of lynching, 21–23; of risk, 98–99, 103–4 Ghost Map, The, 97 Gilbert, Dave, 107 Gomorra, Pedro, 112 grammar of masculinity, 86–90 Great Society programs, 81 green spaces, 115–18 Griffin, Farah Jasmine, 53–54 Grosz, Elizabeth, 94–95 Hairston, Eugene, 80, 83, 85 Hamilton, Carrie, 22 Hammett, Theodore, 97 Hampton, Fred, 89 Hansberry Lorraine, 53 Henderson, Charles Richmond, 23 hip-hop generation, 94–95 historical geography, 3–4 HIV/AIDS, 97–99, 112–13, 139n103; Black politics and, 109–12; coercive mobility of black men and, 106–8; crisis in Black Chicago, 101–2; geography of risk and, 98–99; ghost map and, 99–101; in prisons, 97–98; spatializing, 105–6; war on drugs and, 102–8 Hoffman, Fredrick, 23–25, 26, 70–71 Holly, Alonzo, 22 housing: carceral power and, 56–57; government promises for better, 55–56, 130–31nn18–19; prison industrial complex and, 71–74, 131n29; projects, postwar, 55– 57, 63; race, architecture, and urban planning for, 58–59; security measures and, 64–68, 132n45–46. See also kitchenettes; Robert Taylor Homes Housing Act of 1949, 56, 59–60 Housing and Urban Development, Department of, 66 “How ‘Bigger’ Was Born,” 31 Howell, Nic, 98 identity formation, 45–47, 53–54 “Identity: Skin Blood Heart,” 70 Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC), 73, 97–98, 103 incarceration. See carceral power Indifferent Boundaries, 1 interracial social spaces: black middle class
and regulation of, 27–30; geography of, 15–17; viewed as vice districts, 12–15, 26– 27; white fear of, 24, 123n40, 124n72 Introduction to the Study of the Dependent, Defective, and Delinquent Classes, An, 23 Islam, 86–90 Jackson, George, 55, 57, 71, 75 James, Joy, 5–6, 57 Jim Crow segregation, 19, 21, 24, 32, 52 Johnson, Roy, 57–58, 70–71, 78 Johnson, Steven, 97 Jones, William, 22 Jordan, Timothy, 88 Jungle, The, 18 Kennedy, John F., 89 Kimmel, Michael, 52 King, Martin Luther, Jr., 89 Kirby, Kathleen M., 1, 70 Kitchenette Cookbook, The, 37 kitchenettes, 55, 84; Black Chicagoans and, 39–42; as carceral power, 33, 49–51; disease in, 48–49; gender and escape in, 33–34, 51–53; growth of, 34–35; making of black masculinity and, 53–54; marketing of, 36–39; Richard Wright on, 31–34, 35, 47, 54; safety of, 42; structure of, 34, 36 Laumann, E. O., 99 Le Corbusier, 58–59, 60, 61, 62, 67, 70 Lefebvre, Henri, 118 liberals, black, 27–30 Lipsitz, George, 4, 110 literary geography, 31–34 lynching, 19, 21–23 machine-style politics, 89 Mahay, J., 99 Malcolm X, 87, 89–90 Mann Act, 15, 122n15 marketing of kitchenettes, 36–39 Marx, Karl, 37, 72 Marxism, 32 mass incarceration, 3, 94. See also carceral power Maud Martha, 52–53 Mayberry, Robert, 97 Mayfield, J. D., 22 McDowell, Linda, 4
7/2/15 2:45 PM
158 . inde x McKay, Claude, 35 McKittrick, Katherine, 1, 4–5, 94 Merleau-Ponty, Maurice, 84 Merrill, Marie G., 38 middle class, black, 27–30, 125–26n92, 125n90 migration of Blacks to the North, 2, 25, 30, 40, 55–56, 80 Miller, Teresa A., 94–95 “Miscegenation,” 29 mobility, coercive, 106–8 Moorish Science Temple of America (MSTA), 87–88 Muhammad, Elijah, 87, 90 Mumford, Kevin, 15 NAACP, 111 Nagel, Joanne, 20 Nation of Islam, 87, 88, 89–90 Native Son, 31, 32, 42, 48, 50 New Abolitionists, The, 55 Newman, Oscar, 66 New Negro Movement, 28–29 New York Times, 43 Nixon, Richard, 91 Nootbaar, Max, 13–15, 17–18, 23, 26, 27, 30 North, the: liberalism in, 25; migration of Blacks to, 2, 25, 30, 40, 55–56, 80; racism in, 25; segregation in, 52 Obama, Barack, 139n103 Omnibus Anti-Drug Abuse Act, 91–92 Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968, 65, 91 Onion Café, 14, 23, 26 Outsider, The, 32 Paik, A., 99 Park, Robert, 78 policing: crime, sex, and, 23–25; Gang Intelligence Unit and, 85, 93; modernizing of, 26–27; power in Chicago, 11–12, 13–15, 17–19, 30; surveillance, 1–5, 13, 33, 50, 57–58, 64, 66–73, 118, 129n97; war on drugs and, 91–92 politics: HIV/AIDS and black, 109–12; machine-style, 89 Pratt, Minnie Bruce, 70 prison industrial complex, 71–74 prison masculinity, 85–86; embodied per-
formance and, 93–95; for a new era, 90–93 prisons, AIDS in, 97–99, 102–8 Prisons and AIDS, 97 P. Stones. See Blackstone Rangers public housing, 54, 56, 57–58, 84; architecture of, 61–63; carceral interstice and, 68–70; demolition of, 74–75; planning of, 63–64; prison industrial complex and, 71–74; securitization, 64–68. See also housing; kitchenettes Pulido, Laura, 4 race theory, 23–24 Race Traits and the Tendencies of the American Negro, 23, 24, 25 Radiant City, The, 58 Raisin in the Sun, A, 53 Reagan, Ronald, 66, 92, 102, 109, 112 Real World, The, 112 Reconstruction, 19, 21 risk, geography of, 98–99, 103–4 Robert Taylor Homes, 54, 56, 57–58, 84; architecture of, 61–63; carceral interstice and, 68–70; demolition of, 74–75; planning of, 63–64; prison industrial complex and, 71–74; securitization, 64–68. See also housing Rodriguez, Dylan, 57 Roediger, David, 19 Ross, Marlon, 27 Sandifer, Robert, 76, 96 security, housing, 64–68, 70–71, 73, 132nn45–46 Sentencing Reform Act, 91 sexual agency, 20, 123n46 sexually transmitted diseases. See HIV/ AIDS sexual markets, 99 sexual regulation, 27–30 Shakur, Assata, 69, 70 Sinclair, Upton, 18 slavery: black sexual agency and, 20–21; geography of, 6 Snow, John, 99–101 social science scholarship, 23 Soledad Brother, 55 South, the: black masculinity and, 19–21; lynching in, 22; racism in, 24–25
7/2/15 2:45 PM
inde x · 159 Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), 89 space: Black gangs and carceral, 78–79; green, 115–18; place, and identity formation, 45–47, 53–54; of security, 66–68 spatial empowerment, 82 spatialized blackness: definitions, 1–2; historical geography and, 3–4; HIV/AIDS and, 105–6; mass incarceration and, 3 Stones. See Blackstone Rangers subject formation, 70–71 Sudbury, Julia, 57 surveillance: around housing projects, 64, 66–73; as carceral power, 1–5, 13, 57, 58; kitchenettes and, 33, 50; over the entire Black community, 118; as penitentiary technique, 69; in slavery, 129n97 Taylor, Robert, 54, 56, 57–58, 61 13X, Clarence, 87 Truman, Harry, 59–60 tuberculosis, 107 12 Million Black Voices, 31, 42, 48, 50 Uncle Tom’s Children, 42 urban agriculture, 116–18 Urban League, 111 urban planning, 58–59
Volstead Act, 16 Von Hoffman, Nicholas, 81 Wall, Lester, 97–98, 102, 106 Wallace, Michelle, 106 war on drugs, 91–92; HIV/AIDS and, 102–8 Wells, Ida B., 79 whiteness: construction of, 17–19; kitchenettes and, 35 “Who Set You Flowin’?”: The African-American Migration Narrative, 53–54 Wigeman, Carl, 40 Wilkins, Craig L., 82 Williams, Dorothy, 111 Wilson, Mabel O., 58–59 women: HIV-positive, 107–8; kitchenettes and, 33–34, 36–38, 51–53; working outside the home, 36–37 Woodland, John R., 55, 56, 57 Woodlawn Organization, 81 Woods, Clyde, 4–5 Wright, Richard, 7, 9, 30, 57, 84; on carceral power, 49–51; on kitchenettes, 31–34, 35, 42–43, 47, 54; Native Son, 31, 32, 42, 43–45, 48, 50; on space, place, and identity formation, 45–47 Wyatt, David J., 22 Youm, Y., 99
7/2/15 2:45 PM
7/2/15 2:45 PM
rashad shabazz is an associate professor in the School of Social Transformation at Arizona State University and was previously assistant professor of geography at the Universty of Vermont.
7/2/15 2:45 PM
the ne w bl ack studies series Beyond Bondage: Free Women of Color in the Americas Edited by David Barry Gaspar and Darlene Clark Hine The Early Black History Movement, Carter G. Woodson, and Lorenzo Johnston Greene Pero Gaglo Dagbovie “Baad Bitches” and Sassy Supermamas: Black Power Action Films Stephane Dunn Black Maverick: T. R. M. Howard’s Fight for Civil Rights and Economic Power David T. Beito and Linda Royster Beito Beyond the Black Lady: Sexuality and the New African American Middle Class Lisa B. Thompson Extending the Diaspora: New Histories of Black People Dawne Y. Curry, Eric D. Duke, and Marshanda A. Smith Activist Sentiments: Reading Black Women in the Nineteenth Century P. Gabrielle Foreman Black Europe and the African Diaspora Edited by Darlene Clark Hine, Trica Danielle Keaton, and Stephen Small Freeing Charles: The Struggle to Free a Slave on the Eve of the Civil War Scott Christianson African American History Reconsidered Pero Gaglo Dagbovie Freud Upside Down: African American Literature and Psychoanalytic Culture Badia Sahar Ahad A. Philip Randolph and the Struggle for Civil Rights Cornelius L. Bynum Queer Pollen: White Seduction, Black Male Homosexuality, and the Cinematic David A. Gerstner The Rise of Chicago’s Black Metropolis, 1920–1929 Christopher Robert Reed Living with Lynching: African American Lynching Plays, Performance, and Citizenship, 1890–1930 Koritha Mitchell Africans to Spanish America: Expanding the Diaspora Edited by Sherwin K. Bryant, Rachel Sarah O’Toole, & Ben Vinson III Rebels and Runaways: Slave Resistance in Nineteenth-Century Florida Larry Eugene Rivers The Black Chicago Renaissance Edited by Darlene Clark Hine and John McCluskey Jr. The Negro in Illinois: The WPA Papers Edited by Brian Dolinar Along the Streets of Bronzeville: Black Chicago’s Literary Landscape Elizabeth Schlabach Gendered Resistance: Women, Slavery, and the Legacy of Margaret Garner Edited by Mary E. Fredrickson and Delores M. Walters Racial Blackness and the Discontinuity of Western Modernity Lindon Barrett, edited by Justin A. Joyce, Dwight A. McBride, and John Carlos Rowe Fannie Barrier Williams: Crossing the Borders of Region and Race Wanda A. Hendricks
7/2/15 2:45 PM
The Pekin: The Rise and Fall of Chicago’s First Black-Owned Theater Thomas Bauman Grounds of Engagement: Apartheid-Era African American and South African Writing Stéphane Robolin Humane Insight: Looking at Images of African American Suffering and Death Courtney R. Baker Word Warrior: Richard Durham, Radio, and Freedom Sonja D. Williams Funk the Erotic: Transaesthetics and Black Sexual Cultures L. H. Stallings Spatializing Blackness: Architectures of Confinement and Black Masculinity in Chicago Rashad Shabazz
7/2/15 2:45 PM
7/2/15 2:45 PM
7/2/15 2:45 PM
7/2/15 2:45 PM
7/2/15 2:45 PM
The University of Illinois Press is a founding member of the Association of American University Presses. ___________________________________ University of Illinois Press 1325 South Oak Street Champaign, IL 61820-6903 www.press.uillinois.edu
7/2/15 2:45 PM