Queering Growth in Mid-20th Century Philadelphia

J. T. Roane

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


In this essay, I highlight a critical, if under-examined, dialectic between dominant urbanism and Black queer urbanism. First, I demonstrate the ways that dominant urbanists drew on a sedimented historical imaginary of the slum as a racialized site of debilitation and death in their articulation of and support for new urban infrastructures designed to support long-term stability through capitalist growth. Anti-blackness formed a fundamental aspect of the syntax and grammar of urban renewal and redevelopment. Next, I examine the efforts of the adherents of Father Divine’s Peace Mission Movement to build a world centered in spiritually appropriated, communal architectures wherein their disruptive forms of social-geographic life challenged heteronormative futurity and segregation through the haptic politics of touch and what I term ecstatic consecration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)194-211
Number of pages18
JournalReview of Black Political Economy
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2020


  • Black Queer Urbanism
  • Philadelphia
  • growth
  • urban politics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Economics and Econometrics


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