Abstract

This essay confronts the mundane power of street names and street signs in the production of race, space, and difference. It offers a scholarly meditation by using selections from Audre Lorde’s poem “A Litany for Survival,” the author’s personal narrative, and interdisciplinary research methods. This meditation explores the unique role of Indianness in the production of space within the U.S. The essay illustrates how Native and non-Native communities deploy public markers of Indianness in the form of street names and signs in ways that reflect their distinctive identities, experiences, and cultural and racial projects. It offers a concrete comparison between the Indian-themed neighborhoods of South Lake Tahoe, California, and a Washiw tribal community in central-western Nevada, in order to argue how street names can reflect and help to reproduce not just expected cultural differences, but also racialized identities, racialized space, and the geographies of American colonization and occupation.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1551-3211
Print ISSN
0066-9628
Pages
pp. 68-81
Launched on MUSE
2014-09-30
Open Access
No
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