Black Data : Subaltern Hacks

Black Data: Subaltern Hacks  is an critical investigation into the Negro Motorist Green Book, a media artifact that I reframe as a crucial network sharing detailed information about safe places where black people could commune, including hotels, restaurants, and individual homes, under Jim Crow. I present this artifact as a methodological rupture that describes both blackness and space not as fixed categories but as socially and historically produced and shifting. Engaging a participatory, community network of knowledge-makers, it mapped a safe black territory within an extremely dangerous geography, undergirded by the values of white supremacy.

In the following, I perform the initial stages of my engagement with this powerful historical archive in the form of raw annotations. My notes, underlines, and keywords perform a link between Green’s original project--the ‘matter’ or lived experiences of black lives; personal research; and the larger liberatory social politics of the #BlackLivesMatter movement. I choose this working form in order to suggest openings for the development of a new urban knowledge equal to the predicaments of our present conjuncture, in which black lives are lost too often and too soon. The full article was published in the anthology pARTicipatory urbanisms. Read the full piece here. 

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