Airic A. Hughes, Ph.D. candidate in history at the University of Arkansas, presented "The Language of State Will: Research Conclusions from 'Through the Heart of the City: Interstates and Black Geographies in Urban America'" at 6 p.m., Thursday, April 14, at The David and Barbara Pryor Center for Arkansas Oral and Visual History. The Pryor Center lecture series is part of the Pryor Center's expanded mission of education, research, and outreach.
Federal urban renewal and interstate highway projects re-segregated American cities. U.S. Interstate 630 was constructed in Little Rock using the racialized language and tactics of urban renewal, promoting white supremacy as progressive social policy. This research illuminates how and why federal interstates are dynamic instruments of state will to form and inform black geographies in urban spaces.
Hughes is a 2021 Southern Regional Education Board Doctoral Scholar and instructs courses for the University of Arkansas Department of History, African and African American Studies Program, and the School of Journalism and Strategic Media.
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