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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


Th is article explores the mutual constitution of blackness and mobility in the

context of the United States. Using insights gained from the interdisciplinary

fi eld 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. Th e 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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