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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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Fertile Ground

(p.114) Epilogue
Spatializing Blackness

Rashad Shabazz

University of Illinois Press

This epilogue focuses on Chicago's changing racial geography, arguing that this change is creating not only gentrification in parts of the city, but also openings for Black Chicagoans to augment their geography. Since the mid-1990s abandoned lots all over Chicago have been turned into spaces of agricultural production. Not limited to middle-class white neighborhoods, urban gardens have sprung up in poor and working-class communities on the South and West Sides of the city. This is not the first time Chicagoans have performed agriculture in the city. The city has a long history of urban agriculture. This epilogue shows that green spaces can undo the consequences of carceral space by enabling Black Chicagoans to eat fresh fruits and vegetables in places with little retail access to them and creating environments of stress reduction for the entire community. It also demonstrates that the poor and the working class can be architects and planners, that they can augment their geographies in ways that produce healthy people and vital, vibrant communities—on their own terms.

Keywords:   racial geography, Black Chicagoans, Chicago, agricultural production, urban gardens, urban agriculture, green spaces, carceral space, poor, working class

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