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Black Moves

Moments in the History of African-American Masculine Mobilities

Tim Cresswell

Keywords: African Americans; blackness; embodied mobilities; Middle Passage; mobilities; race; United States

Abstract

Th is article explores the mutual constitution of blackness and mobility in the context of the United States. Using insights gained from the interdisciplinary field of mobility studies, it argues that mobilities have played a key role in the defi nition of blackness (particularly black masculinity) at the same time as blackness has been mapped onto particular forms of mobility. The article is constructed through a series of suggestive vignettes moving backward through time that illustrate continuities in the way forms of movement, narratives of mobility, and mobile practices have intersected with representations of African-American male bodies. Examples include end-zone celebrations in American. football, stop and frisk procedures in New York City, the medical pathologization of runaway slaves, and the Middle Passage of the slave trade.

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