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Spatializing BlacknessArchitectures of Confinement and Black Masculinity in Chicago$
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Rashad Shabazz

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780252039645

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252039645.001.0001

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Ghost Mapping

Ghost Mapping

The Geography of Risk in Black Chicago

Chapter:
(p.97) 5 Ghost Mapping
Source:
Spatializing Blackness
Author(s):

Rashad Shabazz

Publisher:
University of Illinois Press
DOI:10.5406/illinois/9780252039645.003.0006

This chapter examines 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 HIV/AIDS epidemic 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—the sociospatial production of HIV infection—for prisoners and the communities they returned to. Although HIV/AIDS could affect anyone, the combination of geographic (segregation and the war on drugs) and structural forces (mass incarceration, premature death, lack of healthcare, and politics) increased the risk in Black Chicago. The risk of transmission of HIV is fourteen times higher in prison. 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.

Keywords:   incarceration, war on drugs, Black men, prisons, HIV, AIDS, risk, prisoners, Black Chicagoans, Chicago

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