A Revolution Is Needed in the Urban Planning Industry, Much like the One Occurring in the Criminal Justice Industry
On May 25, 2020, George Floyd, a 46 year old Black man, was handcuffed over a suspected counterfeit $20 bill, roughed up, and murdered by a Minneapolis police officer. His neck was knelt on for eight minutes and forty-six seconds, constricting his ability to breath until he became motionless and then pulseless. As Floyd died, other officers helped restrain the rest of his body, while another stood by watching. The moment further sparked a revolution that has been building for our entire lives and highlighting the problems of an industry in deep need of a restart and reimagining process, as many call to defund police departments across the nation.
Continue reading Thesis Introduction: Part 2
Strong Personal Purpose and Conviction to Changing the Systemic Injustices that Urban Planning has Placed upon Black American Communities
Gunshots rang out just outside my home, startling a group of boys that had gathered for my 12 year old birthday party. Without panic or a second thought, I quickly moved further away from the windows, ducking down to assume the position taught to me by my parents. It was “drive-by drill” time. This was a drill that I was accustomed to, growing up in Denver’s, historically Black, but now gentrified, Five Points Neighborhood. However, during my drill movements, I noticed that something was wrong with my friends. Fear gripped their bodies and froze them into place. I wondered what in the world they were doing and why they weren’t getting down.
Continue reading Thesis Introduction: Part 1
Black Authors are Pushing the Industry Forward with New Ways of Reporting from Different Perspectives
As the profession continues to grapple with the realities of the past and the whiteness of the present, there are some Black authors that are making their marks on the industry. These authors, urban planners, sociologists, and activists have had positive impacts on the built environment through providing a unique perspective that should be deeply valued in advancing equity through the practice. While Ta-Nehisi Coates, mentioned earlier, represents the cutting edge of the premier Black author, many came before him. This next section will detail literature that develops the viewpoint of Black authors and their contribution to the urban planning industry.
Continue reading Literature Review: Part 3 – Black Planners are the Bridge to Systemic Change