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Black Lives and Spatial MattersPolicing Blackness and Practicing Freedom in Suburban St. Louis$
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Jodi Rios

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781501750465

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501750465.001.0001

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Race and Space

Race and Space

(p.23) 1 Race and Space
Black Lives and Spatial Matters

Jodi Rios

Cornell University Press

This chapter traces the ways by which culture is used to produce, police, study, and represent blackness specifically in conjunction with racialized metropolitan space in the United States—the cultural politics of race and space. Cultural politics is the scaffold for modes of informal disciplining, and it establishes the conditions of possibility for formal policing. The chapter then outlines some of the contours of the cultural politics of race and space that are important for understanding the practices and phenomena in North St. Louis County. Because scholarship produces powerful discourses that reveal, obscure, and sanction violence in and through space, it also considers the ways in which culture, race, and space have been historically conflated in different spaces of scholarship. Ultimately, North County stands as a prime example of how blackness-as-risk has been deployed at a local level through cultural politics in order to differentiate and police bodies and space for profit through racist and “race-neutral” policies and practices.

Keywords:   blackness, racialized metropolitan space, United States, cultural politics, informal disciplining, formal policing, North St. Louis County, blackness-as-risk, racist policies, race-neutral policies

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