Thursday, February 22nd, 2024

5:30pm - 6:30pm 

Kerwin Hall Room 301


Brooklyn’s staggering rise from a gritty outer borough to the premiere locale for global capital investment, real estate development, and cultural consumption in New York City has garnered it a reputation as the gentrification capital of the world. The borough’s status as home to one of, if not the largest contiguous Black community in the United States magnifies the racial implications of that ascent. The loss of 119,000 Black residents between 2000 and 2020 against the backdrop of massive borough- and citywide population growth tells a tale of two cities that underscores the interlocking nature of racial and spatial justice.

In this talk, Amanda Boston will focus on gentrification’s psychic, social, and material consequences for Brooklyn’s Black communities. In doing so, she will link struggles over physical, social, and iconic control of urban space to struggles over racial control and self-determination. Moving beyond the age-old story of white urban “pioneers,” Boston tells a story of Black diasporic community-making in an everchanging and often hostile urban landscape. The exclusionary restructuring of U.S. cities sheds light on the nature of the contemporary fragility of Black communities and has implications that extend far beyond the confines of a single borough.