“Black Lives and Spatial Matters” is a call to reconsider the epistemic violence that is committed when scholars, policymakers, and the general public continue to frame Black precarity as just another racial, cultural, or ethnic conflict that can be solved solely through legal, political, or economic means. Jodi Rios argues that the historical and material production of blackness-as-risk is foundational to the historical and material construction of our society and certainly foundational to the construction and experience of metropolitan space. She also considers how an ethics of lived blackness—living fully and visibly in the face of forces intended to dehumanize and erase—can create a powerful counter point to blackness-as-risk.
Using a transdisciplinary methodology, “Black Lives and Spatial Matters” studies cultural, institutional, and spatial politics of race in North St. Louis County, Missouri, as a set of practices that are intimately connected to each other and to global histories of race and race-making. As such, the book adds important insight into the racialization of metropolitan space and people in the United States. The arguments presented in this book draw from fifteen years of engaged research in North St. Louis County and rely on multiple disciplinary perspectives and local knowledge in order to study relationships between interconnected practices and phenomena.