Research Revelations Episode 5.0 – Black Geographies and the Built Environment

In this episode, muthi reed talks architecture and city planning as an entryway into researching black geographies and migrations.


Sources mentioned in this episode:

Gooden, Mario. Dark Space: Architecture, Representation, Black Identity. New York: Columbia University Press. 2016. Find it at a library near you.

King, Tiffany Lethabo. Black Shoals: Offshore Formations of Black and Native Studies. Duke University Press. 2019. Find it at a library near you.

Sanborn maps are fire insurance maps published by the Sanborn Map Company from 1867 to 1977. The maps were designed to assist fire insurance agents in determining the degree of hazard associated with a particular property. The Free Library of Philadelphia’s map collection includes Sanborn maps and an interactive mapping tool that allows users to overlay various atlases dating back as far as 1843 over today’s street layout. The Library of Congress holdings represent the largest extant collection of maps produced by the Sanborn Map Company.

See the Free Library of Philadlephia’s map collection and use its interactive mapping tool.

See digitized Sanborn maps in the Library of Congress collection.

This isn’t mentioned, but you may also be interested in this article about redlining and how maps reflect the legacy of structural racism in Philadelphia or seeing this exhibit at City Archives on the same subject.

Music credits:

Funkorama by Kevin MacLeod