VIOLENT UTOPIA

I am completing my second book manuscript, provisionally titled Violent Utopia, 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 this question through the Black experience in Oklahoma, and Tulsa specifically, beginning with the settlement of the Indian and Oklahoma Territories up through the centenary of the 1921 Tulsa race massacre. The book argues for understanding the condition of Black life in Tulsa as mediated and analyzed through themes that advance the progression of the Black experience. Charting the origins of black settlement in the Territories provides an apt framework for identifying and assessing early notions of Black freedom. Moving forward, the book examines the very quality of Jim Crow segregation that quickly came to rule the land that would become the State of Oklahoma. But beyond analyzing the functioning of segregation as a regime of violence, the book speaks to a socio-cultural order around which these regimes are erected.