I am an assistant professor of Geography and African-American Studies at the University of California, Berkeley.The postcolonial formulary of the Caribbean and its Diaspora are core to my work. Thinking from the region, my research into Blackness holds as a central proposition that an economic rational serves as the organizing principle for the function of Black life lived in the wake of slavery and its abolition. For that reason my research focuses on the experiences and articulations of structural poverty and has led me to ask questions of everyday individual subjectivity, the circumstances of state economic underdevelopment, and of the ethical notions that are produced by the comprehensive condition of impoverishment across scales.  

 

In my first book project, Scammer's Yard: The Crime of Black Repair in Jamaica, forthcoming this year from University of Minnesota Press, I explore how structural and enduring poverty in Jamaica is responded to through crime. In Scammer's Yard, criminality serves as a reparative mechanism, made logical by the recognized crime of underdevelopment induced by the postcolonial economic stricture of structural adjustment. My current research continues to pursue these core themes in the United States through an analysis of the value and function of blackness as a means of economic and political transformation in Tulsa, OK.

 
 

TULSA, LIFE AFTER THE MASSACRE

Nearly one hundred years after the violent destruction of one of the US' most prosperous Black communities, this ethnographic study examines contemporary Black life in North Tulsa, home to the historic Greenwood District, best known as Black Wall Street.

SCAMMER'S YARD

Scammer's Yard: The Crime of Black Repair in Jamaica (University of Minnesota Press, 2020) examines the reparative possibilities of the Jamaican Lottery Scam. 

ONTOLOGICAL LABOR, RACIAL CAPITALISM

In this article racial capitalism is argued to be a fundamentally ontologizing process. This point is advanced through the central role of labor in the ontological foundations of post-emancipation Caribbean subjectivity. Thus, the structural definition of Caribbean identity can be understood as one defined by racial capitalism’s instrument of labor.

The article demonstrates how scammers, through criminal manipulations of development are able to reconcile longer histories and broader circuits of inequality through contemporary gain, producing a novel sense of postcolonial repair

FEATURED ARTICLES

This article is concerned with the ways in which discourses of rights serve to destabilize indigenous logics when used for gains in the market. It does so through examining a Rastafarian tour group who uses their participation in the tourism market to challenge what they believe are infringed cultural property rights. As a means of commercially defending these rights, the group employs a discourse of indigeneity.

This article explores how participation in cooperatives seeks to accomplish an ideal form of the market through the constitutive ethics of organization and skill development. Through the employment of a rhetoric, which emphasizes the importance of skill development and organization as a means of accomplishment the article shows to what extent cooperative ideologies, or imaginaries, serve to legitimize, console, or even frustrate the economic function of cooperation.

In this article, I consider the formulation for a decolonized curriculum by assessing what constitutes a 'colonial' education, especially one that is deserving of decolonization.  I suggest a decolonized curriculum draws on diaspora theory and the framework of the Black Radical Tradition.

Jamaica craft vendors interpret the competition of fellow vendors as animosity. Understood through the trope “bad-mind,” this article examines an ethnicized framing of the market as a construct through which inferences of citizenship and racial discourses are produced.

Museum of the African Diaspora. Coffee, Rhum, Sugar & Gold: A Postcolonial Paradox.

Dartmouth College. Department of Geography. Releasing a Tradition, Decolonized Curricula.

The British Library. Eccles Summer Scholars Lecture Series. Reparations and the Reordering of Transgression in the Jamaican Lottery Scam. 

 

University of Amsterdam. Spatial Imaginaries of Jamaican Organised Crime Symposium. The Jamaican Lotto Scam: Crime, Capital, and Citizenships Reconfigured.

New York University. Reparative Seizure and Postcolonial Deferral in the Jamaican Lotto Scam. Institute for Public Knowledge.

TALKS

Museum of the African Diaspora. Beyond Feathers & Glitter: The Beating Heart of Carnival. 

Stanford University. Department of Anthropology. Postcolonial Promissory: Reparations, Seizure, Deferral and the Jamaican Lotto Scam.

UCLA. Race and Capitalism Symposium, Discussant.

 

The Penn Wharton China CenterBeijing. China in the Caribbean/The Caribbean in China.

  

UC Davis. The Geography Graduate Group. Reparative Circuits: Techno-logics of Postcolonial Geographies in the Jamaican Lotto Scam.

 

Columbia University. South Seminar; Department of Anthropology. Reparative Circuits: Reparations and Seizure in the Jamaican Lotto Scam.

 

FEATURED PROJECTS

 

The Berkeley Black Geographies Project was started in 2016. With faculty colleagues, Brandi Thompson Summers and Sharad Chari, the project is a collaborative effort housed within the Geography Department at the University of California, Berkeley, to advance a contemporary understanding of Geography and other disciplinary analyses of spatial relations by centering Blackness as an encompassing  framework.

As a product of the project, Camilla Hawthorne and I are co-editing The Black Geographic:Praxis, Resistance, Futurity, forthcoming with Duke University Press.

  • The Black Geographic

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THE BLACK GEOGRAPHIC

 

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CONTACT ME:

597 McCone Hall

University of California, Berkeley

Berkeley, CA 94720