Orientalism, Internal Colonialism, Social Production of Space


Utilizing an internal colonial model combined with Henri Lefebvre’s ideas about the social production of space, this paper argues the urban space in Black Chicago was intentionally constructed to maximize the control and exploitation of Black Chicagoans. Driven by material interests, primarily, and inextricably tied to America’s race-based hierarchy, hegemonic institutions confined and restricted Black space via discriminatory housing practices to ensure continued economic exploitation. To enforce the spatial barriers they had erected, hegemonic institutions weaponized the police force, using it to occupy and control Black space. This essay establishes theoretical background of internal colonialism and social production of space, then applies these concepts to an analysis of housing and policing in Black Chicago to demonstrate both its intentionality and the devastating effects it had on Black Chicagoans.