The Dishonored Community: Black Deviants in Urban America with Khaleel Grant
Throughout the 20th century, New York was a hub of Black politics. From Garveyites to Black Communists, Civil Rights activists to Black Panthers, almost every conceivable political movement among African Americans was present in NYC. This lecture focused on none of these movements or their notable figures. Instead, it discussed dishonored communities of Black subjects who operated in the fringes, slums, and undergrounds of post-WWII New York City. Whether they were drug-dealing grandmothers, "junkies" plaguing neighborhoods, juvenile delinquents, or outright thieves, these figures were engaged in a practice of Black deviance that has seldom been considered "political" or related to traditions of Black protest or radicalism. Drawing on a selection of primary sources, Grant explored the complexity of Black deviant subjectivity, deviant and dishonored communal living, and the potential of unearthing a Black Deviant Tradition.