This essay seeks to examine the association between race and space by interrogating the complicated relationship of two non-urban spaces: Pinhook, Missouri and Cairo, Illinois. Pinhook, an African American village, was destroyed on May 2nd, 2011 when the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers intentionally breached the front side levee of the Birds Point-New Madrid floodway in an attempt to lower historically high Mississippi River levels at and south of Cairo. While the circumstances of Pinhook’s destruction suggest an oppositional relationship between the two towns, we contend that both are the victims of the consequences of racialized space, white supremacy, and urbannormativity. An examination of the destruction of Pinhook and the historical context behind it helps to demonstrate the ways in which these two towns, separated by a river and approximately twenty-five miles, rather than being at odds, have both become examples of “black nowheres,” locales among the unimportant, invisible, and too oft-ignored geographies of America.


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pp. 221-244
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