DOI: https://doi.org/10.11649/ch.2015.002

Narrating the Racialization of Space in Austin, Texas and Nashville, Tennessee

Martha Norkunas

Abstract


Narrating the Racialization of Space in Austin, Texas and Nashville, Tennessee

People of color in the United States have been obligated to move through public space in particular ways, dictated by law and social custom. Narrators create cognitive maps of movement in the city shaped by racial codes of behavior. The maps change over time as law and social custom changes. The fluidity of the maps is also influenced by status, gender, class, and skin tone. This paper examines a rich body of oral narratives co-created with African Americans from 2004 to 2014 focusing on how men and women narrate their concepts of racialized space. It moves from narratives about the larger landscape — the city — to smaller, more personal public places — the sidewalk and the store — to intimate sites of contact in the public sphere. Many of the narratives describe complex flows of controlled movement dictated by racial boundaries in the context of capitalism. The narratives form an urban ethnography of the power relations inscribed on the landscape by racializing movement in space.

 

Narracje o urasowieniu przestrzeni w Austin (Teksas) i Nashville (Tennessee)

Nie-Biali w Stanach Zjednoczonych byli zmuszeni do poruszania się w przestrzeni publicznej w szczególny sposób, określony przez prawo i zwyczaj społeczny. W swoich narracjach badani tworzą mapy kognitywne ruchu w mieście, kształtowane przez rasowe kody zachowania. Mapy te zmieniały się w czasie pod wpływem zmian prawnych i zwyczajowych. Na płynność tych map wpływały także status, płeć, klasa i odcień koloru skóry. W artykule przeanalizowano bogaty zbiór relacji ustnych tak zwanych Afroamerykanów, zbieranych w latach 2004-2014; uwaga skupia się na tym, jak mężczyźni i kobiety opowiadają o swoim widzeniu przestrzeni urasowionej. Omówiono narracje o szerszej przestrzeni miasta, jak i węższej, skoncentrowanej na bardziej osobistych miejscach publicznych, takich jak sklep. Wiele narracji opisuje złożone wiązki kontrolowanych ruchów, dyktowane przez granice rasowe w kontekście kapitalizmu. Narracje te tworzą etnografię miejskości o relacjach władzy wpisanych w krajobraz, opartych na urasowieniu ruchu w przestrzeni.


Keywords


landscape; race; racialized space; African American; gendered space

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References


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