Video: JT Roane on ‘Dark Agoras’ in Philadelphia

A talk on ‘Insurgent Black social life and the politics of place’

JT Roane’s book Dark Agoras: Insurgent Black Social Life and the Politics of Place is a history of the spaces made and used by Black people in twentieth century Philadelphia.

JT came to talk about his book on 18 January in Brighton, UK, as part of a series of events in Europe. In the talk, he discussed the connections between underground disreputable spaces and the ‘set apart’ (spaces for religious gatherings) in the city. Together, he characterizes as these spaces as ‘Dark Agoras’, where dissident visions for urban life could be developed and fostered.

The talk also traces the roots of Black social life back to rural places and experiences of enslavement, and through the Great Migration and the era of Black Power. In the present day, JT Roane also shows how valued spaces in the city face fresh threats from the commercial ambitions of large corporations.

We were delighted to be able to facilitate this event, and we are very thankful to JT Roane for taking the time to visit and share these insights with us. We are also grateful for the support of the Centre for Spatial, Environmental and Cultural Politics at the University of Brighton, and to Brighton CCA, for their help in organising and hosting the event. We will also share a video of a second talk by JT Roane here soon.

For more information on the book, visit the publisher’s website.

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