VIOLENT UTOPIA

sub-buzz-5585-1592235991-1.jpg

Violent Utopia, forthcoming from Duke University press in 2022, is based on archival work and ethnographic fieldwork I began in 2014 in Tulsa, OK. Violent Utopia extends on my ongoing investment in the question of what repair and reparation might be. It examines the condition of Black life in Tulsa, Oklahoma, as oriented around the settlement of Indian Territory, the 1921 Tulsa race massacre, and the massacre’s centenary. The book is concerned with how the freedom achieved in historical Greenwood, colloquially known as Black Wall Street, became curtailed by dispossessive violence. Violent Utopia assesses how the equally weighted violent processes that included the 1921 race massacre, urban renewal, and everyday impoverishment resulted in the ultimate dispossession of Greenwood, which today is glossed as North Tulsa. In the wake of this dispossession, blackness in North Tulsa is organized and driven by community formation understood as ethics and acts of restoration. Violent Utopia illustrates how the North Tulsa community reconciles the inheritance of violence and freedom that form the very condition of their geography. As such, Violent Utopia argues that the geography of North Tulsa, as a site of sovereign belonging, is the basis on which Black Tulsans will repair the promise of Greenwood.