Black Emplacement in Rural North Carolina Public Deposited

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  • March 22, 2019
  • Scott, Darius
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Geography
  • This research considers collective black emplacement in rural Piedmont North Carolina. Two forms of such emplacement are explored: that of “back ways” community members via narratives (Orange County, NC) and that of imprisoned laborers via work songs (Roxboro, NC). The research involved archival review and in-depth readings of recorded prison work songs and oral histories taken from back way communities, or historically black communities oriented around historic wagon roads. A primary goal of this research is understanding the function and makeup of collective black emplacement as a matter of black geographic space. This is important because black geographic thinking supports appreciation of spatial collectivity and community-building in sites easily considered place-less or ones represented by blank space on state maps. To this end, black geographies, as an interdisciplinary field, calls for analysis of cultural matters such as songs or personal narratives to evidence otherwise disregarded productions of space. However, there is a knowledge gap in regards to how the paradigms of black geographies provide insight into particular instances of spatial collectivity. This research aims to support overcoming this issue by offering analysis that details (1) how work songs and oral history, as cultural matters, provide insight into black geographic place-making; (2) the import of intergenerationality in black geographic narratives of back ways communities; and (3) how animation may be a viable means of representing the black geographic space of back ways communities. Together, these offerings attempt to highlight some specificities of black geographic space—its makeup, function, and potential for representation.
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Rights statement
  • In Copyright
  • Gökarıksel, Banu
  • Olson, Elizabeth
  • Maynor Lowery, Malinda
  • Kirsch, Scott
  • Kotch, Seth
  • Doctor of Philosophy
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Graduate School
Graduation year
  • 2018

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