J.T. Roane

J.T. Roane is the McPherson/Eveillard Postdoctoral Fellow and Lecturer in Africana Studies at Smith College. He received his PhD in 2016 from Columbia University in History and is also a 2008 alumnus of the Carter G. Woodson Institute at the University of Virginia. Roane is primarily interested in questions of place in relation to black histories and is currently at work on a manuscript titled “Sovereignty in the City: Black Infrastructures and the Politics of Place in Twentieth Century Philadelphia.” The manuscript charts the history of two very different visions for social affiliation and obligation, black vitality and sanitized citizenship, and the ways they shaped Philadelphia—a primary testing ground for urban policies, sociological and historical inquiry, and social experiments of reform up through the twenty-first century. Specifically, Roane sets modes of alternative land stewardship and governance from Philadelphia’s black working class communities in contrast with the urbicidal practices of reformers who worked to enhance the profitability of the region at the expense of black and working class neighborhoods between 1940 and 1991. Follow him on Twitter @JTRoane.